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LABOUR ON FARMS.

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LABOUR ON FARMS. The Army Demand on Breconshire and Radnorshire. Mr. J. R. Bache. the Agricultural Sub- Commissioner for Breconshire and Radnorshire, speaking at a meeting of the Executive Com- mittee of the 13recon and Badnor Farmers' Union, held at Builth Wells on Monday, dealt with the question of labour in the two counties. He remarked that with regard to the supply of machinery for the two counties, everything possible had been done, but in spite of the efforts to secure suitable threshing machines for the hilly districts they had to a great extent failed in that particular. In Radnor- shire the Machinery Committer had ordered a large number of binders, and they were pre- pared to do their best to meet the requirements of the counties, and no stone would be left unturned until they had accomplished the object they were aiming at. It was to be regretted that the drills did not arrive in time and some of the threshing machines sent to these counties wore much too heavy and could not be moved from place to place. The question of labour was going to be a serious one, as both counties were expected to make a contribution of men in Grade 1. to the Army. Breconshire quota was put down at 325 aid Radnorshire 275, and the number of men in Radnorshire at present in Grade I. who came under the Proclamation was 208, less than the number asked for. In going through the list the Radnor Executive Committee had only been able to find a very small number who could be spared and it had been the same in Breconshire. The demand from Radnorshire could not be met without drawing on the men 'ùp to 31 years of age. He was of opinion that the authorities vveve not in the possession of the facts relating to those counties, and if they were conversant with the particulars they would have arranged things differently. The farmers of Brecon and Radnor depended largely upon single men, as they had „ but very few cottages, and when young people engaged on the land got married they left the rural districts of Wales and went and settled in England. He understood that in Montgomeryshire arrangements were in pro- gress to release [j! per cent. of the young men under the Proclamation, and Cardiganshire was doing likewise, but they in Brecon and Radnor were trying their best to retain the men on tne land. Proceeding, Mr Bache showed that farmers were now more- favourable to women land workers, as the demands in the two counties were quite equal to the supply. They had been offered German prisoners of war. and tjO were to be sent to the neighbourhood of Three Cocks shortly. There was also boy labour to be placed at the disposal of the farmers, and these lads of from 15 to 10 years of age would be available for the harvests, b^t soldier labour was not available. He pointed out that men from the land were taking up timber work. and Rome of these, between the two kinds of work, *•- -ivould undoubtedly be slipped into the army, Mr Phillip Jones pojuted Out that it would help,the farmers very much if they were allowed to retain their present staff of men on the land till after the harvest. Mr J. W. said that they had been requested to cultivate more land, and they were given a promise then that they would be allowed to retain rjl skilled agriculturists, and he considered that they could ask the Govern- ment to keep its promise. Mr Thomas Davies observed that it was important for the formers to also retain all the soldiers available at present, as they could not possibly carry on the work on the land without proper assistance. Mr J. W. Jones moved the following reso- lution Thai this of the Executive Committee of the Brecon and Radnor Earmors' Union express their surprise at the quota of men required from the counties of Brecon and Radnor, viz., Brecon 325 and Radnor 275, under the recent Proclamation, as this will be a serious impediment to agriculture, considering that we are so much depende r It upon singleyoung labourers of the proclaimed age, and we therefore respect- fully appeal to tho.;e ih authority to reconsider their decision. Further, the Brecon and Rad- nor Union consider their farms are entitled to a sympathetic consideration in view of the pro- mise made to farmers that they should retain their skilled labour men, the land in those counties being most unsuitable for work by machinery." Mr Thomas Bas-ies seconded, and the reso- lution was carried unanimously. The meeting decided that a bonus of not less than £ 25 should be given the retiring secretary, Mr'J. P. Griffithi,

BRECONSHIRE WAR ITEMS.

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