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. FROM THE FOWL RUN. I

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Llandrindod Wells Property…

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ABEREDW EISTEDDFOD. -I

HOW I CORED CHRONIC PILES…

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Back to the Land. fi

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Back to the Land. fi Men With the Spade. By EDWIN DAVIES. "Back to the Land" has long been a cry, hut alas all unheeded in the past. Now, in the face of a great menace of the nation's food supply, men and women are being urged with feverish haste to return to the li.iid-their oldest heritage-and till the ground as they never did before, and never, for at least a cen- tury, have beeir allowed to do. Despite every warning of far^-eeing economists in the past, men and woiine-i- whole families—were driven off the land, and the once fertile and productive soil allowed to become one vast prairie. Sheep! sheep! the eternal sheep! was the sole cry of too many agriculturists. So long ItS there was mutton in the land, what else mattered? Thtrc were men ready- to clutch every acre of land for this purpose, and what concern had they with the unwisdom of depopulating country parishes, and forcing into over-crowded cities, men and women who had been born and bred, and lived happily, a.s. their fathers and grandfathers had before them, in the congenial task of bringing forth the fruits of the earth! With the vanishing of the old territorial power, land- lords ceased to interest themselves, as their forbears had done, in the personal management of their es- tates, and troubled not that country populations were diminishing. The rents came in the same, and if buildings were decreased in number, there wa.s less expense to the estate. And so the devastation of country and village life increased. Nobody, or few, looked ahead at the possible ulti- mate consequences of such folly. We had our splendid Xavy, built up at an enormous expense, to .safe-guard the seas, and secure the. nation its daily bread. The fact that novelists had foreshadowed ships sailing be- neath the waters, and. machines flying the air, had no lessons t6 teach. Such possibilities were the mad imaginings of brainy journalists! Yet what do we find? In the first great war since 1870, despite, the bravery and watchfulness of ollr match-less Jack Tars, the hoaho; sailing beneath the waters have .sent to the bottom of the <=camaj)yhun- dreds. of our focd-carrying ship*, and demonstrated br- yond reasonable question that as a protection of (5reat Britain'^ food supplies the British Navy, with all its resources and splendid courage, is practically powerless. And .so it all comes to this: Back to the Land! The land of England, of Ireland, of Scotland, and of Wales must be tilled, as it was never tilled before, if hunger is to be averted in the future. England ha..s been taught its lesson. The people must (lig-an(i (ii, deep—into the soil, that it may be made to produce food. There is much energy in the land now—men are traversing the length and breadth of it.Olpreaciting the doctrine of digging! If one-half the energy had been expended in the past, what a different story of England in this great war might have been written! A GLANCE BACK. Almost every effort, in the pas-t to secure land for allotments had met with opposition and faiulre. The Small Holdings. Act has been made almost nugatory, because it. administration was chiefly in the hands of persons wlio never knew when they had enough land for themselves. As small farm buildings were allowed to become ruinous, and landlords would not be bothered with re-building, the land was eagerly .seized by men who had been appointed in many places to carry out the provisions of the Small Holding,, Act!-a stupendous piece of folly, which nobody appeared to realise, or lacked the courage to expose. But, thank Heaven in the midst of a great crisis— now that the country is at death-grip with a relentless and unscrupulous enemy—men and women are going hack to the land in their thousands. They have answered the call of their country with splendid patriotic enthusiasm. With spade in hand, and deter- mination in their hearts, they have set about the work of bringing forth the earth-fruitdoing their splendid bit for old England, and showing to the enemy that the British bull dog breed will be more than a match for the Teutonic menace. I have just left a meeting where 500 splendid fel- 1 lows, with remarkable enthusiasm, demonstrated their determination to this year double their work of last year. And there are 3,000 of such men in one city alone, impressed with the same idea, and that number will probably be double in a few weeks' time. And you will find the same spirit in every part of Old Eng- land to-day. If this war has done nothing else for England, it has done this: sent men in thousands back to the land! Oh! the pity cf it! That it should have needed the greatest war in history to awaken the country to the cry so long sent up by the people, "Give us land!" THE FUTURE. Hot what of the future?—when tlii.4 dreadful war shall be at an end, and when our brave sons shall have returned to civil life? What of the future? Shall we go l>ack, think you, to the old order of things? Will those who have gone on to the land now, in response to a pressing national appeal, surrender their right to continue to cultivate land? The man who thinks 1\0 knows not the feeling of the men. It was not their fault in the past that they took no share' in the cul- tivation of the soil. It was a privilege relentlessly denied to them. They are now determined that, having taken their share in helping to meet the demand for food, they will share in a like privilege when the war is over. I have attended some twenty meetings where this matter has been thrashed out. by thousands of men. and their determination is unmistakable. And this line of thought is not confined to one class of men. You j will find it in tb?, ?ma)) trader, in the man who works in olIke" and shops, as well as. in the artisa,iwo l?t Walter Williams, who will have attended many 1* more .such meetings, will, I am eure, confirm this opinion. Land for the people-and yet more land—is- the cry of the hour, and will be for some years to c-ome. The whole land question is in the melting pot, as. are so many other social and economic problems. With an enlarged franchise, a higher intelligence among the people, a people more sober and earnest, assisted by the experience which has already been gained, must bring about a tremendous revolution in regard to the land question. And no Government, to whom a demand is made to face the problem, will possibly be able to ignore it. THE POSITION IN BRECONSHIRE. So far as Brecon.slure is concerned, the trouble in the future will not rest with the landowners, whose past history has been one of beneficent interest in the welfare of tenants. The diffieulties will arise when those who now hold the land as tenants come to he dealt with, and who may oe expected to put every obstacle in the way of converting accommodation grazing land into allotments and building sites. But these difficulties will be overconx-of that there can be no doubt. A larger outlook and a nobler patriotism must pre- vail. The. interests of a few must give, place to the greater happiness of the many. The landowner or tenant who refuses to recognise the changed order of affairs will have but iseant consideration. Men who have fought and bled for Old England-and who want land-will feel that they have a right, to share in its greatest blessings. And what greater blessing than that a man should he allowed, in peace and-eontentment, with fair rent and security of tenure, tO ljve upon and cultivate the land, for whose inviolability from invasion he has risked his Ute and shed his blood' I f, by enlightened policy and friendly co-tfperation, such a desirable end may be obtained, will it be the act of a visionary to predict that our beautiful Brecon- shire will have its ruined and depopulated villages re- stored and peopled as of yore. The old churches and churchyards bear abundant evi- dence of the continuity of families generation after generation. The people lived long, and happily. Is it too much to expect that, in the future, -ftiioh buppinc-s^ may be intensified?—with the possibilities of easier means, of communication, and a readier market for every article produced? And so with its towns. With the great housing -cneme?, which are assuredly coming, there must be no crowding into the smallest passible space the largest possible number of people. There must be more elbow- room—more land at every house and every batch of f^rc » no ??- in these <?y? to crowd within "the walls, V, or beneath embatUcd towers. JHose ideas were u.;{'fnI in far-away times. But tlio44v times have long pa",ed-never again to return.

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Builth W-elis Council. I