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FARMERS' COLUMN SITROPSHIRE CHAMBER OF AGRICULTURE. A speid general meeting of the members of the Shrop- shire Chamber of Agriculture was held at the Crown Hot-1 rv kl 'north, on Monday, March lGth, to consider the MiViocn of "The Detriments to the Improvement of Land." Mr R. Jasper More, of Linley Hall, the President of the (Jt> a Tiber, filled the chair, and there was a good attendance of farmers. THE PROPOSED NEW AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY. With regard to the Agricultural Soiety which it is pro- posed to form for Shropshire and adjoining counties, the CHATPM W stated that Herefordshire had been the first to rx*e«pr mi < agriculturists of that county having expressed iKhei"to join should neighbouring counties be in- clude; he scheme. The Wenlock, Ojwestry, and Ludlow Societies* had not yet communicated their determination Upon + '11' miestion. THE DETRIMENTS TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF LAND. Mr B DTJDFIELD, Catsley, Bewdley, who, according to announcement,opened the discussion, began by saying that he did not know much about North Salop but in the southern division there were many farms in bad cultivation. One of t',Le detriments to the improvement of Jand" was the relations of landlord and tenant with regard to game Gentlemen, as a rule, wera fond of sport, and he saw no reason why they should not have it So Ion- as they were content with enough game for u-eful recreation. It was the abuse farmers ob- jected to. and he really wondered that the Humane Society aid not interfere on occasions such as when the bares, after feeding on the tenants' crops were driven by hundreds into the coverts by the beaters, and were there shot down. He had himself had a farm for fifteen years on an estate where the loose and fast system was practised, and could relate things which would make them shudder to hear of When a farmer took a farm he might be told by the teward that he should have every encouragement to farm his land in the best possible manner, and he might be allowed to ^o on smoothly until the land had been put >nto a <*ood state of cultivation; but then came the hares Into a O'ood state of cultivation; but then came the hares fcoctuinally destroying his crops without any compensation being obtainable. He wondered Gladstone, Bright, and Co. haa not taken up the over-preservation of game which had in many places brought farmers to ruin, and which yet Seemed to be a kind of mania. with many landlords and even some good old English gentlemen. He had been told that it was no use meddling with this question as the rrince of Wales was fond of battue shooting but why could they Hot fence about a tract of country for him where keepers eould rear game without harming anyone ? And they might have the same down in that district where the Prince Could gtt sport when he came, and when they were done With the battue the farmers would find them some field Sport to circulate their blood and give them an appetite for Inner. (Applause.) Giound game ought to be in the hands of the tenants, who would find a moderate Quantity of game for their landlords and friends. But it was of no use farmers grumbling about their grievances at maiket, and staying away from the Chamber where they might hope to exert influence to bettl;r their condition. Mr Dudfield concluded by mov- ing "T],ü; this Chamber considers that the over-preserva- tion of t. e and the absence of tenant-light are amongst the principal detriments to the improvement of agricultural Illd, aud is of opinion that such a Bill as that introduced into the House of Commons by Messrs Howard and Read t session, and one to protect the occupying tenant from injury over-preservation of game, are necessary for improvement. Mr E. RAINSFORTH, Ashfield, seconded the motion. Mr A. WOBRALL, Oldington, observed that at a late en- chainment at Yortin, attended by agricultural labourers, It had been remarked that the men to be seen there were a Credit to their country, and he did not, therefore, think that Mr Dudrleld was right when he said most of the best toen had one away. He and his ancestors had lived upon the same "estate for nearly 300 years, and he had always a game preserver himself, so far as feathers went, 'hough to fur he objected. Mr RALPH BENSON, Lutwyche Hall, Much Wenlock, J&id that if there were men in the county who wou.d break their word in the way described by Mr Dudfield, he would y-gihbet them by name in the market-place of the county tpwn, it should not go forth that this was anything 'ike the funeral character of Shropshire country gentlemen. Dudfield said his remarks applied t j the country at [arge.)—A landlord, were he an archangel in gaiters and "Oots, cousd not make a tenant successful if he had not the disposition required to make a successful farmer. Mr Ben- '011 )'( Sori then went on to show that in that district at any rate ^ant of cottar accommodation was not a crying evil, as he hid KiiriS"lf reserved four cottages for agricultural tourers but for want of tenants he was obliged to let bem t* othnr people. It had also been said that farmers hadto pay f or poachers, but in reality did they pay for them at ail' t ,Mr Taos HORTON asked if the money did not come out the county rates ?-(A Voice: Da we not pay for the ocher In glOl, and have to keep his wife and fa'iuiy ? eat applause.) Mr BENSON acknowledged that the prosecution of r^achera pauperised their families, and remarked thaA this had much consideration with the Committee. He ex- S,tessed his belief that there would be legislation on the Laws but said he did not think it would go further sivinsr "P the rabbits to the tenants, which would the farmers in many places. He allowed his own lehants to ferret and dig rabbits and to employ a rabbit Catcher, of whom he approved. Draining did not pay in ^any places and he thought as far as this went things "hould be allowed to go on as they were until labour grew Reaper, which it would soon as there was much excite- ment in London owing to the abnormal rise of prices, and 'fade was collapsing. Mr WORKALL—What percentage do you want for money e^t for draining ? Mr BENSON— £ 6 14s. f Mr WORKALL—Then you should not do anything at all me. I want the landlord to have some profit, but 1 So Want a little myself. T Mr BENSON said he was himself now paying interest in ^hdon for money borrowed by his father to make drains t ?lch it was said had been done badly and were now being ^ken up, which showed that draining could not be regarded Permanent improvement to property.. Mr WORI'ALL re-joined that if they were done badly it as the landlord's fault. .Mr BENSON said they knew that a landlord had not ^'Wavs in .a- an(i that a man with an income of £ t>,000 4 year from land received to himself about £ 3,000 only, and ^at with mortgages and one thing and another, he really, £ °bably had not £ 500 to spend on draining. But if he Ne of opinion that draining might be postponed just now, Jf thought, there could be only one opinion among sensible l as to unexhausted improvements, and that was that a Oaat who had to quit land which he had improvjd ought J° be compensated. For the present, however, he had no to S'ippose that Mr Read s bill to effect this would ■introduced. T; MR WORK ALL remarked that the cottages he had men- ded which were not taken must be very highly rented j> Mr BENSON replied that there were very nice cottages with piggeries, &c., at a rent of £ 3 a year. to "WM. NEYETT, of Yorton, said that the ii detriments the improvement of land" began at the letting j the land, when it was stipulated that the tenant must SO and so and he would not get the farm if he did not i stl thP agreement. Jtle next reierrea 10 me restrictions Mlord^ placed upon the growing of different crops, and ^wh'tWs'required was more education in farmers so should know what manure a fie^ a puticular crop. As the motto of thLojal ^cultural Society had it, there must be Siill.withjrac ,i{ aud unless farmers educated their children they would j\U repent it in after years. Mr Nevett next remarked /'at as regarded draining lie had known some still good i hich had been made many years ago and which would he feheved be as good as they were now in twenty-live years v. c°me. He urged that the question of unexhausted lm- £ r°vemert3, and the length of notice ought to be viewed in i Cotnnaercal light and declared that if he did not mistake ie thought the tenant farmers of England were beginning see they ninst have the commercial principle brought to l uron the letting of land. If a farmer deteriorated his he should pay°for the harm done, and if he expended J>y in improving it he should receive compensation ^cordin?]y. A twelvemonths' notice had been proposed, Whst Utter position would a farmer be in with twelve ^ith s'x months he could only save a little manure turnip-. Mr Disraeli had been talking the other oay Aylesbury abt.ut a two years' notice, but what did he tio^\ ? Mr Nevett concluded with the remark that he i proud ^o see Mr Read occupy his present position, but U f^0ught Dizzy had put him and Sir Massey Lopes there Xeep them nuiet.. Br.WEN JoNFS. on behalf of Mr C. S. Eead and Sir vT^ey stated that neither of them had sacrificed accepting place. ^Mr HAINSFOETH,to show that he had been a tenant-right attwi-niv-ei^ht years of age, recalled the time when S?.had bef-n asked to join in the petition for the re-impo- utl°ti of t> e duty upon corn, ani-l he -old the landlord that !f the ,V e ClQty ? i ;f would only mean so much v'§W 1 Were 1ti'"1(lp TlP was a tenant-right man still, ^t 110 l*P0Q the frvrm. H opinions a little too Ct PP"9ed he1 ^ad eXpreSfv,p nroceedings were net to coCg at the annual dlIjner, as the pro Yefc i(. w&a Hca, out in the form of a pamphlet as «^ at Shrews. Kv"g !,llt Practical truth which he 1'a(.1.rF j.era0U'H drains W' Aftcr remarking that many of Mr !-• h that W °! V t.w., and three feet deep, he went on to sii H0ttnt faimjrs could not farm the land with a si. th^ a,ul withe ut compensation for improvements '^vested their money. But, he ohsen't-t, noK d be lots of farms to let in two or three year an to take them. In proof of this he read an extract tol?,a 1 tter from a friend, who stated that he had been by the Marquees of Londonderry's a^ent that tarais K t cum,. doWn, that for one for which £ 363 was wanted Oh0 WhfV hH was £ 227, and that in Northumberland for w °f £ 1 GOO a vtar £ 1,200 was the highest bid. «me ten of the "farmers of Eogla-id had no capital to go Cr^h they never ware so poor since England was Eng- BACKHOUSE, Westwood, Bridgnorth, referred to the 'VJeroion as one which had not been touched upon "u-ht to have a fair settlement. Then tenants His to increased taxation for various purposes. In I WLh,1'y district thirty miles of turnpike roads had tmown upon them, making a diiference of many £ 're;i.^ pounds a year. Kates should be levied WM I c0n/fT ave:J, whether a couuty or any other portion of the | to be taken, tie could not that all the f 0?e draining should fall upon the tei.ant, and NV tllat a per centage of 26 14s. 6d. was too large. It j th% l t! estate which beuefited by draining, and did not Ul(ir. r »dd to its value when put up for auction ? Why, UlwTml,i tho landlord have the advantage and the ^thi Pay it ? Twelve months' notice was good for -certainly there should nothing less tbati two vears. A good tenant did not^ want notice, out every chance to reap the benefit of what be had laid out on th; e»u.«> "-U .hjuU I I was an education Act now, but it did not toucl1 the educa- S oUh. middle o t>1 all- F"nS appeared to him to be very badly educated, aud n K, F N much better schools wanted in that neighbourhood ut all districts throughout England might be considered as in want of such. With regard to what had been said about agreements there was a disposition there not to tie farmers down to the very articles of their agreement as they could not always keep it, and there should be give and take on ^The'^CHAIRMAN, in summing up, said it had always seemed to him that the chief detriment to the improvement of land was the unfortunate want of capital which was ex- perienced by both landlords and tenants. He considered that district, however, a most highly favoured one and should like to hear compensation for unexhausted improve- ments discussed there. Many gentlemen had not attended the meeting, he believed, because they were so extremely flourishing, having rich lands, rich landlords, rich tenant. and prosperous farming, and an almost total absence of agri cultural grievances, but ought not they to have sufficient freemasonry with their class to help the agricultural body at large. As regarded the increased price of labour he did not think Shropshire had suffered so much as other coun- ties, owing to the good farming practised. In South Shrop- shire game was not a particular grievance, and he could only remember one estate where he had heard that it was highly preserved, and about that he had never heard any complaint as the plan was to let the land a good deal below its value and allow the tenant a good deal ef game. Where game was a grievance, he hardly thought farmers would be satisfied with rabbits merely being struck out, but would re- quire that all ground game should be struck out. He was afraid there was not the slightest doubt that Mr Read would not again bring forward his bill. He hardly thought indeed that another bill like his, and with the twelfth clause, would be introduced this session, nor did he see much chance of a game bill which would abolish the preservation of ground game. He could not indeed hold forth much hope of legislation on any question at present. With re- spect to middle-class schools it had been suggested that instruction in public speaking should be ^ven. which would enable the sons of farmers to describe their experi- ence, but in the case of a school in the midland counties where it was proposed to establish a confessional for farmers' sons, this was not appreciated. He concluded that it was fromthe high price of barley that nobody had mentioned the malt tax, yet he thought that local taxation was not such a grievance as this, since, as Mr Oopden had pointed out, the taking off the rates by government would benefit the landlord rather than the tenant. Mr DUDFIELD having replied at considerable length, reiterating his views, the motion was put to the meeting, and carried unanimously. The Chamber then broke up.



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