Welsh Newspapers

Search 15 million Welsh newspaper articles

Hide Articles List

6 articles on this Page




THE FARlJfÈllS' CIRCLE. ] (BY ONE WITHIN IT.) The Attleborough allotment holders, says a writer, are gathering a large crop of potatoes. A single specimen has turned the scale at 3lbs. 2ozs., and the general yield is four strikes to the rood. Considering that the land is let at 9d per rood, the holders are reaping a good return for their outlay. Prior to conversion into allotments the ground was old turf pasture. A farmer in Mid-Oxfordshire, in writing to us, says he considers this the worst year he ever knew, and he has been farming for more than forty years. He gives us as his estimate of the crops in his district the fol- lowing :—Hay, 75 per cent, below average; wheat, 25 per cent. ditto; barley, 40 per cent. ditto; oats, 40 per cent. ditto; beans, 75 per cent. ditto; peas, 30 per cent. ditto; potatoes, 20 per cent. ditto; mangold, 10 per cent. ditto; and swedes, 40 per cent. ditto. POTASH IN SOIL. Ten inches' depth of soil on an acre of land would weigh about 1,000 tons if it were of light friable nature. Amongst that 1,000 tons there would be from 70 lbs of potash in an excessively poor soil, up to 3,000 lbs in a rich one; but it must be understood that the roots can only take up that portion which is in a soluble condition, and immediately ad- jacent to the feeding points of the roots. rfome kind of crops would extract frcm 200 I be to 300 lbs of potash from an acre of land. This is dissolved from the naturally intractable or fixed potash of the soil by the aid of carbonic acid gas absorbed from the air and formed in the loose soil by the oxidation of its organic matters. One-fourth of the volume or bulk of a light rich soil consists of air, and this air will contain, again, one-fourth of its bulk af carbonic acid gas, which is an enormous excess of what it would contain above the surface ot the soil. The carbonic acid gas slowly and certainly acts upon the insoluble potash, &c., and sets it free for use by the plants as required. This is one strong argument for keeping the surface soil loose continually. I ■ iiClt/i^il.OCAL | TAXATION. At a meeting of the Scunthorpe (Yorkt) and District Agricultural Association last week the following paper on Local Taxa- tion" was read by Mr J. W. Taylor, of CastlethorpeIn opening a discussion on the question of the taxation which agricul- ture has to bear, our thoughts naturally turaliv turn to the poor rate, the assessment to which is the basis of all local taxes. It is an almost unknown fact that the original intention of the legislature was that all pro- perty-personal as well as real-should be caxed for the relief of the poor. It is enacted in 43 Eliz. c. 43 that the overseers all raise, by taxation of every inhabi. iarson, vicar, and other, and of every v lands, houses, tithes, coalmines, underwoods within the noney for the relief of the e word inhabitant •t in the parish, reference to occupier of rpsi- .—■ c^onjjjoion is annually con- firm -d by the Expiring Laws Continuance Act. Ships are rateable only when the parish in which their owner resides is locally and visibly their home—that is, where the3 terminate their voyage and are laid up when unemployed, The difficulties, however, at- tending t b ascertaining what personal pro- perty is liable to the poor rate are so great tli,i I in the words of Lord Mansfield, 11 man- kind had, as it were, with common consent, refrained from rating it;" and we farmers. who are the principal sufferers from this exemption, couid have wished that man- kind had also, with common consent, re- frained from throwing additional burdens on to what was originally intended to be a rate for the relief the poor." For what does the so-called poor rate include ? About half of the next call on this Union has to be paid to the County Council: the remaining half not only covers the cost of the relief of the poor, but also assessment, registration, vaccina- tion, school attendance, half the cost of lunatics, and legal and other charges neces- sary to the management of the aiiairs ol the I Union. Whilst, again, the jury and voter's lists-in many parishes a serious item—the overseers' legal and other expenses, and in some cases heavy School Board and sani- tary expensop, are ail included in what is improperly ealle(I the poor rate. It is quite true that the County Council require a large proportion of their income from the poor -L- rate ior the purpose of contributions to highway authorities, but I am afraid this! will in very few cases decrease the hiehwav I ruff, owing n-irtly to the increased require. mente of the county surveyor, but more especially to the fact, which cannot he too singly emphaMeed, that, where a public body has the spending of money without the responsibility and, to a certain extent, m of c,) I I ecti n L, i f. thpre is almost ep. rti, in to be a great want of economy and adminis- tration. SThis, perhaps, applies not only to tv foiuntU nnd highway authorities but also to technical and other educational boH f-s, and toe Tij-Hi t'ce of subsidies in aid although, comparatively speaking, a new Mea, ia urie s,i,uue-iy to be deprecated. Time prevents me dealing fully with the question or highway rates, but I would like to say that land not occupied b.v buildings is as- sessable to a general district, and to a weeial sanitary rate, at one-fourth part only of its rateable value. What steps ought Parliament to take to relieve the land of ib. unfair proportion of local taxation ? This is a very difficult question and requires a large amount of consideration. I contend that, without adopting an universal income itirge amount of consideration. I contend that, without adopting an universal income tax, which would be the fairest method of a*sossM»e allllroperty equally, but which is, I am afraid, impracticable, relief might be eiven to agriculture by throwing the cost of education, police, voters' lists, regi.-trat o •, vaccination, &c., on the Imperial exchequer." I his could be done without any strong op- position. But I would go further, and a.- t I,' v sh 1 d a man who invests his meney ting^ the soil and in employing labour be assessed to local rates a twice the ount his Hifiome (according to income tax mode of assessment), while anothe roan who invests his money abroad-in other words, lending money to our competitors— is practically exempt from local burdens, being only rated on the house he inhabits ? The answer is plain. Because, in Lord Mansfield's words, 11 Mankind has, as it were, with common consent refrained from rating personal property owing to the diffi- culties in assessing it." The value of lands in 1891-2 assessed to income tax in the United Kingdom was 5 millions, the profits from trade in 1890-1 was 587 million, or a pro- portion of 10 to 1. It is a great pity that the whole energy of the Agricultural Con- ference in London last December was net directed to this grievance, instead of beating the hollow drum, which produced a protec- tionist sound on one side and a bimetallic ring on the other. But there is another as- pect of this question to look at. Many far- mers are to-day asssessed above the just value of their land. Why don't they ap- deal ? The law is very plain on the subject. By the Union Assessment Act of 1862 the gross rental is defined as "the rent at which the hereditament might reasonably be expected to let from year to year, free of all usual tenants' rates and taxes and tithe commutation rent charge, if any. The rate- able value is arrived at by deducting from the gross estimated rental of the heredita- ments "the probable annual average cost of the repairs, insurance, and other expenses, if any, necessary to maintain them in a state to command such rent." ;Therefore I con- tend that an occupier is entitled to a deduc- tion for any drainage or embankment rate which is necessary to keep the land from flooding, or, in other words to maintain the land in a condition to, command the rent even although such rate is paid by the land- lord. Time prevents me going into the question of income and other taxes, but I have obtained from the Board of Agricul- ture a few copies of two circulars describing fully the method of procedure to be adopted by occupiers of land, for obtaining relief from unfair assessments to income tax or local rates. In the face of the severe de- pression we are now experiencing, in the face 0 E the large increases of taxation caused by the County Council, and in the face of further legislation in the shape of Parish Councils, which will still further in- crease local burdens, it behoves farmers to oe on the alert, more especially as those who pay the most have only equal power with those who pay the least. In conclusion, therefore, I would urge individual farmers firstly, to get their assessments to local rates put on a fair basis-by strict keeping of tarm accounts, to be in a position to be f iirly assessed to, or exempted from, income t LX, and than to unite in one strong agri- cultural union in demanding what was originally intended, namely, that all pro- perty, personal as well as real, should be placed on an equal footing in bearing those burdens which are now unfairly borne by a portion only of the community. WEATHER AND WORK. Rain has at last fallen in sufficient j. voiume to satisiy the requirements of the most absorptive soil. On one or two occa- sions during the past week rain has fallen without a break for well-nigh twelve hours. r he result is most beneficial to the country at large. The grass lands already present more healthy and productive aspect, and, r advanced as the season is, a wonderful 'ount of outdoor fare may yet be ob- aed for stock. Such a result would bring nost desirable and needful — *euei to the scanty provision of winter food. The liberal supply of moisture has also done a good turn to the cultivator. Autumn work is al- ready unusually well advanced, and should the rainfall now hold off for a little time it will be forced on to a point rarely reached before the inclemencies of winter call a halt to ploughing and cleaning operations. The grain markets are still unsatisfactory, inas- much as the modest predictions re^ardino- prices have been belied, and the increase, instead of being measured by a few shil- lings per quarter, as was confidentlv px- pected, amounts to only a few pence. This is applicable to all classes of grain. Stock prices remain unaltered as far as England u1 concerned. In Scotland, however a very different state of affairs is presented, in the sheep markets especially.


[No title]

--____MARKETS. ^ I