Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

17 articles on this Page

[No title]

Advertising

Advertising

! LADIES' LETTER I-

[No title]

!P";'Fwr11.' IESTATE MARKET…

Advertising

Elephant's Tantrums.

. Great Fire at Dewsbury.

0 Fell Into a Kiln.

Advertising

RURAL LIFE.

Advertising

AGRICULTURAL POLITICS.

News
Cite
Share

AGRICULTURAL POLITICS. (By a Lobyist). UNDER WHICH KING, BEZONIAN? Mr. Asquith has, in the phrase of Sir W. S. Gilbert, a short and chippy chopper for those have been dubbed the peer obstructives of the Liberal purpose, but apparently he has an obsequious cheek for those obstructives who are of his own household. At all events, this is, the view I gathered from his reply on Thursday night to the very practical question of Mr. Lawrence Hardy, as to whether he would place the new abandoned Hops Bill in the same cate- gory as the Irish Land Bill and the Housing and Town Planning Bill-as a measure that is to be introduced immediately next Session, and to be rapidly passed through its early stages. If Ministers be really sincere of this business why should they hesitate to give this pledge? Or is it that they who are so prolific of flam- boyant and turgid threat against other antagon- ists of their purpose tremble at the knees be- fore the Harold Coxes, the Wedgewood, the Leif Jones's, the Byleses, and the Dundas Whites, who perceive, in every attempt to pro- tect British workers and British industry and to mulct the unfair and ungenerous foreign competitor—to, in fact, place the latter under the same conditions as operate against the home producer—a sacrilegious assault upon their much adorned idol, Free Trade? Should these men be allowed to dominate Liberalism and to dictate to the Liberal purpose rather than statesmen of the calibre of Mr. Lloyd George and Earl Carrington ? Let it not be forgotten that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister for Agriculture are absolutely at one over this mafter. Under which king, Bez iar.-under the influence of the most in- trepid oratorical champion Liberal possesses, a man who by his Patent Act and Shipping Act has done more to placate the aroused suseepti bilities of the industrial classes than any other man in his party, and one of the most sagac- ious Ministers the Board of Agriculture has known, or the influence of these men? Which does Liberalism prefer? SIR WILLIAM COLLINS'S POSITION. Naturally, Sir William Collins, the chairman of the Hop Committee-one of the clearest and most cogent brains of the liberal Party- is deeply chagrined over the business. That he the real sponsor of this abandoned Bill, should be accused of a want of loyalty to Free Trade must be particularly irritating and annoying to a man of his political texture and economic temperament. Wherein, after all, is the heter- odoxy of opplying the principle of Merchandise Marks Act to imported hops, and to compel every bagful to bear the name of the planter, tlie name of the country, the year in which the hyps are grown, and the weight After all. Lnglioh hops have to .be marked with the c of growth, so that--as Mr. P. W. Wilson, a colleague of Sir Wm. Collins in tne Liberal representation of St. Pancras points out—in this respect the foreign commodity is being merely put on the same level as the English. Would it, however, not be as well for tiiose admirable Parliamentary friends of the hop-grower, Mr. Hardy and Mr. Courthope. to discover* whether this very suggestion—that I the foreign producer—should be subjected to the same conditions as the home producer—is not deemed an offence by the Byleses, the Leif- Joneses, and the Harold Coxes of the Free Trad., civilisation. It it fair to deprive the for- eigner of any advantage which he enjoys over the lionie-growe Does not conomie purity demand that the home-grower shall be penal- ised ? # To such questioning—with its seeming justi- fication—does this economic fanaticism reduce us. THE RESTRAINT OF THE CONSERVATIVE. I am bound to say that over the Hops Bill Conservative M.P. s have exhibited the most admirable restraint. We know how some of them feel over the matter of the use of pre- servatives. I need only instance Mr. Courthope in this connection. They have, however, all subordinated their personal and political pre- dilections in order that the general admirable provisions of this most useful Bill might be placed upon the statute-book. The Parliament- ary papers indicate that notice of ninety odd amendments to the abandoned Bill, and notice cf two additional clauses were given. Not a single amendment and neither of the suggested u7 owed their paternity to a Conservative The author was in every case cither a Liberal M-P. or a Nationalist M.P.; and in but i few cases they have no Parliamentary connec- tion with the hop-growing areas than they have with Dan, Bcersheba, McGopotamina, or Tim. L bactoo- In 1he great majority of cases the Purpose of the amendment was to deprive the measure of the flagrant sin of possibly penal- ising the foreign hop-grower in his competition with the British hop-grower, or, rather, of plac- irg them both on a common basis of industrial commercial quality. There were seven amendments which bore on the surface this distinct and explicit purpose; and only one of the seven authors of these amendments has aught but the most remote and infinitesimal association with either the industry or the hop- growing areas. The anxiety, too, to preface the words "hop substitutes" with the word "delet- erious," or substitute "deleterious substances" for "hop substitutes"—proposals which would have rendered the whole measure inocuous and futile, if not a farce—was sponsored by over a dozen legislators. While this is so, the substi- tion of the words "any substance which is poisonous or likely to be injurious to health" for "hop substitutes"—an even more flagitious attempt to avoid the purpose of the Bill—had more than one author.

Premier's Double.

RURAL LIFE.

AGRICULTURAL POLITICS.