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AGRICULTURAL CO-OPERATTON. [CONCLUDED]. By M. A. Brigstogkk. I will now as briefly as possible explain the advantages and the working of certain Co-opera- tive Societies which can be started by farmers in Wales without any loss of time or the running of any undue risk. First of all, I will take an Agri- cultural Co-operative Society, a few of which are already being started in different parts of Wales, The objects of such a society should be the joint. purchase of seeds, manures, coal or culm, all kinds h!m«r h lmp mfr\tS1,and ma^'iaery, weighbridges, bulls boars and stallions. I cannot go into details, which can be ootained from me, or br writing to the secretary of the Agricultural Organisation Society. I must content myself with pointing out a few essentials. First, as to capital. L have already spoken to the managers of two banks, and can say that there will be no difficulty for farmers in getting the necessary capital on reasonable terms, for any sound society of this, or any other kind. ihen when you have eight members, you must register yourselves under the Industrial and Provi- dent Societies Act, when your society will be exempt irom income tax, and will have other special privileges as to liability. Avoiding details which are unsuitable to a meeting of this description, I fTl^^ \° P°int °Ut fche advantages to the rmer of an Agricultural Co-operative Society. It ohpanK 8 farmers in a befcter position to buy in an v iuiri° nf ,r whafc a £ encies may already exist iii any particular district for that purpose. When yon of nurchjJs 6r ° ai!™ers combined for the purpose would not f6' ^7 fchat trading firms who the indlvL, Tf themselves about the custom of r e nn T^' wiU be anxious compete or the custorn of a number of farmers forming' one obisr w °r fcfy'in facfc ifc wiu b9 ™aLT will h,™ k °f n /maU riQS of traders you the old nrd offarmers (quite a reversal of the, old order of things), End you can depend upon it that the ring of farmers will be able to look after their own interests quite as keenly and as sharply as o. her rings have managed to do. Another ad- a society of this kind to farmers would This has been largely done in countries were farms are small and capital is scarce, and such machinery can be got on the most favourable hiring terms, and very soon pay for itself. Only last week for example a large farmer told me that he was bargaining with a local butcher for the sale of a bullock, and they could'nt agree at all about the weight. The far- met- at great trouble and inconvenience got his animal weighed, and found that it weighed 100 lbs. more than the butcher was willing to pay for. Other farmers have told me the same story, and are crying out for weighing machines at suitable centres in their own districts. I leave that point for you to think over and digest without further comment from me. Another advantage which I cannot possibly im- press up on farmers too strongly is the j-'int purchase of good breeding stock. Farmers ought to know by this time that there is always a ready sale for good quality. If the farmers in any given district combined for the purpose of breeding good stock, and so raise the quality all round, at one blow you would not only get better prices, but you would do away with an army of small dealers who come to buy the rubbish. You would find that one big dealer would take the lot at, a commission of so much per head, and you would find that the railway companies could take your stock at enormously reduced rates, because, under the conditions I have stated, they could be consigned as one lot for one market. Take pigs for instance. Instead of being tied down to your local ring of pig dealers, your society could send them away to the curers in a batch, as is done in Ireland, and the curers who bought from you would pay market price, and would make it their business to let you know what sort of pig was wanted and how to feed up that pig so that you would getthe highest price for it. One word more before leaving the consideration of the advantages of an agricultural society to the farmer. I have said that by consigning your stock in bulk you would save enormously in railway rates. You hear every day people cry out: What an awful wicked shame it is that railway companies should be allowed to carry at much lower rates for Continental countries and for Ireland than for the British farmer." You are told, for example, that if you want to send a bullock to Reading, say from Car- marthen, it is cheaper to send it over to Ireland first and book from there This sort of thing is what, perhaps, ninety-nine people out of every hundred will tell you. But what are the facts ? You Welsh farmers have exactly the same rates as the Continental countries and Ireland, and the railway companies are compelled by Act of Parliament to carry for you at exactly the same rates as for the countries mentioned. Why don't they do it, then ?" you ask. Simply because the Continental countries and Ireland by co-operation consign in sufficient bulk to obtain the full advantage of the cheap rate which the railway companies are com- pelled to give What do your farmers do? You each employ your own dealer who has to make his own bargain with the railway company, and then you expect to get good prices and cheap rates. How can you possibly do so if you go on doing your business in this way ? But mark what I say, you cannot upset this state of things until you begin at the beginning, and first of all rear good stock in your district. It is to the self interest of the bigger farmer to see that the smaller farmer in his own district breeds good stock, and this you can only do by co-opeiating and buying good bulls, good boars, and good stallions. When you have done this you can say good-by to the small dealer who comes to buy rubbish, and you can shake hands with the railway company, because you will be able to send several truck-loads, o'r, if your society is a big one, a train-load at a time, instead of sharing one truck-load, and paying separately. CREDIT BANKS. The next Co-Operative Society, which I most urgently recommend you to start in your district as soon as ever your can (the sooner the better) is a credit bank. I cannot go into details, but can assure you that it is quite easy and simple to start and to work. I would point out to landlords who are waiting to take an active part in this movement that here is an opportunity for them to move with great advantage, not only to themselves but aleo to their parishes. I hope to see a credit bank started in my own district early next year to prove what they can do. The value of credit banks to the farming community of Wales is that their estab- lishment would go to the very root of the labour question, by making it worth the while of the far" abourer to stay on the land instead of going ™ LboJe™! Th8"Jb"t» <™.M Jablff arm j, .rr cap,bi'f>" «iock i„ a small way, which he cannot get now on any reason- rennr(-« rvf ft. t -La e3ramPles taken from recent wll xdIL t Agricultural Organising Society borrowedT? u, 7°rking- (1) A man borrowedI £ 3 winch enabled him to retain a sow Str hefwould have been f°rced to sei* or 10s to meet a pressing need This sow brought him a litter of 10, which he sold a couple making £ 5 on them, and the sow is still in his possession for future breeding. (2) Another man writes: The loan of £ 3 which I fol'wT 0°nf?e9?2Kd/UgUSfc' 1898> 1 applied as follows— On the 27th of August I purchased three jouug p,K8 f„r £ 1 15,. 0„ the 15^ ^"™ 0 b IS" f°Isf-153' 1 !'r ke- oreedmg. She is now within three weeks of young ones, and is value £4, The balance of loan, which at ^K f me t?Jh°Id °yer sale of a ^lf which at the time would have only fetched £ 1 10s and is now well worth £ 3. (3) I if County Galway bought twn° 10d iaJUly> 1898' f'or which he of £ M°Unig pigf\ He realised £ 6 by the sale WhZt M arch'. ;,Uld he Save £ 3 fOT a young sow, could p-°gev, r^W J he'' ^oanS are worth £ 10. I could give hundreds of similar cases, but must pass fuH information on the sub- 3 can get it by applying to me. INSURANCE OF STOCK isinsn?61" ™08timP°r;■' branch of Co-operation is insuring farmers against the loss of their stock. farm fWi T Berious thi°g ifc is to a small rarmer to Jose a horse or a cow. If a farm labourer loses his cow, or his pigs die, he is almost helpless. It is in such cases that not only does the Credit Bank step in, but by Co-operation a small percent- age yearly on the total value of their animals will insure farmers and farm labourers, against the loss which.would otherwise fal! on them by the death of their live stock. The possibility of loss is re- duced to a minimum, and the premiums charged y mutual insurance societies are about one-third „„ „K T„r„_„ no commission agents, and no shareholders expect- ing iaige dividends, to pay. POULTRY SOCIETIES. Another Society which I can strongly recommend for starting is a Co-operative Poultry Society, as a greit help, not only to farmers, but also to farm labourers, and others who go in for keeping poultry. I can assure you if any 50 persons in a district join together to form a Poultry Society, they will find it a most paying concern, and there is an unlimited market, at good pi ices, for good eggs, and table poultry; and your merchant buyer, when be found you could send in sufficient quantities, and with regularity, would soon let you know what was wanted-and it is no good your keeping what is not wanted. The Railway Companies would be glad of your custom at reasonable rates, and you could say "Good-bye" to Mr Higgler. CREAMERIES. I suppose you expect me to say something about C,reameries- better known as Butter Factories. All I can say is that wherever they have been fairly tried, they have proved infinitely more pay- ing to the faimers all-round, than home-dairying, because, not only do they produce a much greater quantity in proportion to the amount of milk used, but being of uniform quality the butter can always find a ready market anywhere at a good price, and can be consigned in large quantities, which is not only a great saving to the farmer, but is absolutely necessary to meet market require- ments. For example a wholesale merchant will tell you Oh, it is no use unless you can send me consignments of a ton at a time. Further it has been found that when the farmers of a district realise the gain to them of a creamery, they in crease their supply of milk off the same farms, two- fold and three-fold, by weeding out bad milkers and more attention to proper feeding. But if a creamery is to be really successful it must be owned and "bossed" by the farmers themselves, with the aid, of course, of an expert manager as their servant. It never answers to give farmers the bad end of a bargain in supplying the milk only-he must have the other end of the profit as well. It never answers for landlords, or their agents, or others to have a finger in the pie, unless they themselves are also farmers and send their share of milk. In that case they will be on the same foot- ing as the other farmers in the concern, according to the number of cows kept. An Irish farmer was asked to take a share in a local creamery, and he said he wouldn't because be was sure that the devil was in it and that nasty chemicals were employed in making the butter. Both statements, of course, were entirely without foundation. As Welsh farmers may have equally good, or equally bad reasons for refusing to take a share in a local Butter Factory, I must strongly advise those who are alive to the advantages of a Butter Factory, and wish to start one, to have down for a month or two an expert creamery organiser to go most thoroughly into the local aspect of the question, and to give him ample opportunities of coming into contact with the farmers themselves in order to explain the matter to them in a way which only an expect can. You will at once say there is the language difficulty. Certainly. But this has been overcome in other countries—when Russia, for example, imported 50 Danish creamery organisers and planted them amongst the Russian peasantry, with the result that they are sending thousands of pounds of butter to our English markets. Surely English can be interpreted into Welsh, aud after all, according to the last census returns, there are only 28 per cent Welsh speaking people who do not understand English. WORK FOR ABERYSTWYTH. I am looking forward to the day when this University will have the means of still further rendering great service to the agricultural com- munity. It has already done a great deal, and it is only lack of financial support that has hitherto prevented it from doing a great deal more. The County Councils of the three counties should make it their business to put this University on the same footing, with regard to agricultural matters, as Cambridge University and Bangor, and equip it with a model farm, for the practical training of farmers' sons. Without such a farm the agricultural professors of this University are greatly handi- capped. The Board of Agriculture make a special ( -———-————- grant of L200 a year to Cambridge, and also to rsangor, for working their model farm. If there is any reason why the Board of Agriculture should not make the same grant for the same purpose to Aberystwyth, I should hfte to know what that reason is The County Councils of Anglesrev, Den- bigh, and Flintshire, have made special grants to lhlgtL O T Tdel ffm- 18 there anT reason why the County Councils of Cardiganshire, Car- marthenshire and Pembrokeshire, should not do the same? Surely these three counties being almost entirely dependent on agriculture, the policy of starving agricultural education cannot be considered by any thuking man as an enlightened view of economy. I lay great stress on the proper education of our farmers' sons, as so much of the future success of co-operation depends on this. We shah want Welsh-speaking creamery managers, Wejsh-speakmg managers of poultry societies/and Vveish-spsakmg organisers. When this University is prepared to give a course of training to farmers' sons in the organisation (f to-operative societies, they will find me prepared to help them in the form of offering a scholarship or two, for that pur. pose, and I have no doubt that the Agricultural Organisation Society will be able to find the mean. to pay theL8 organisers when so trained. CRITICS. I intended to offer some remarks on the criticisms which have found their way into the newspapers, since tj.is movement has been started. I find there is no time to do that, for I have already detained you too long. After all what does it matter what people s ir, as long as the work goes on, and you may depend upon it, the work will go on gathering fresh strength every day. Some critics are quite personal, and say I must have some evil motive in taking so much interest in the farmers' welfare In reply I would say If I don't take an interest in the welfare of myself, and that of my tenants, what do you expect me to take an interest in ? And surely if Co-operation is a good thing for my tenants, it must be a good thing for farmers gener- ally. Then others try and drag politics into the movement. Gentlemen, Co-operation is purely a. matter of business, and has nothing to do with politics. As Mr Plunkett has said-the less busi- AgricuTtruhil'Vju>«pvhav-.Utie.s-. the less Doli tics Conservative, or the Radical. They are perfectly free each to go on his own way, except when they join a Co-operative Society then they must leave their polotical opinions (whatever they are) outside on the mat to cool. The only time when an Irish Co-operative Society failed was when its members, composed of Parnellites, and Anti-Parnellites, began to introduce this element into their business. I need hardly say the business failed, and I hope this will be a warning to you all. CONCLUSION. In conclusion, gentlemen, using almost the same words which have been used by Mr Plunkett-I appeal to you that Agricultural Co-operotion is a grand work in which we can all join hands for the common good, not only to secure prosperity for the farmer, and farm labourer, but what is of equal importanca, to build up the character of the people; to stimulate their energies, to foster their intell?"« gence, manliness, self-respect, and national pride. If we put before them the work to be done, you can depend upon it that they will respond to the call. [The first portion of this article appeared a few weeks ago.] 0 Daring the quarter ended 31st December, 1901, the Oswestry, Montgomeryshire and Aberystwyth Branch of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (local office, 6, Victoria Parade, Oswestry), has investigated 29 complaints affecting the welfare of 91 children, and involving 35 offenders. Action was taken as fotiowe Warned 25, prosecuted three, convicted three. Penalties X5 in fines, one child died, and, the Society's Inspector made 154 supervision visits. Nature of cruelties: Neglect and starvation 23, ill-treatment and assault five, manslaughter one.