Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

of land were informed that the report would be so pre- number of cultivators, serfs, or slaves, was above ten pared as to preclude the possibility of particulars in regard millions, or 46 per cent of the total agricultural population. to individuals being divulged. The first return therefore Another important object in agriculture is the subdionly indicated the extent of the crops in districts com vision of real property. In France in 1835 there were as prising several parishes; and in conformity with this many as 10,893,528 distinct properties. In Ireland the principle, the return now forwarded contains the estimated number of holdings exceeding one acre in extent, was, produce of the same districts. A record of the extent of in 1852, 550,413. The produce of grain is largest in the crops in every parish was then preserved, and a state Russia; but the United States far exceed in the variety and ment of the average produce of each has now been pre-abundance of other produce, especially cotton, tobacco, &c. pared; but as it was considered inexpedient to publish The amount of cattle and sheep, in proportion to the poputhe details of parishes in the one instance, I presume it lation, is largest in Great Britain and Ireland. The United will be objectionable in the other. States have a larger number of cattle, but Great Britain possesses double the number of sheep, whilst the United States have double the number of pigs. As to the value of agricultural produce the census of the United States gives the cash value of farms at 900.000.0007., and the value of farming implements at 32,000,000l., that of live stock at 100,000,000l. M Culloch gives the value of the crops of the British Empire at 120 millions sterling, and the value of land in England at 128 millions. The total value of the vegetable kingdom in Russia is given by Tegobonski at 260 millions sterling. These figures sufficiently demonstrate the immensity of the provisions which a gracious providence has afforded to mankind. We have viewed the agricultural resources of but few countries, and left untouched Germany, Spain, South America, the East and West indies, and Australia.

"The machinery employed in obtaining the estimates was simple, and proved efficient. In every district there was a committee composed of the enumerators and experienced farmers, selected from-and representing each of the associated parishes.

"The nature and object of their services were explained in a circular addressed by me to the members of these committees before harvest, their attention was called to the standing crops, and they were requested to institute inquiry, and obtain information within their respective parishes. Their observations were continued during the progress of the harvest; and at a later period, when experiments in thrashing and weighing had been made, the committees were convened by their enumerators, the views of the members were compared and considered, and a statement was prepared and forwarded to me, show ing the average acreable produce of each parish, in bushels of grain and tons of roots."

Such is the mode adopted by the Highland and Agri cul ural Society of Scotland.

It has already appeared that the improvement of agriculture in this country has scarcely kept pace with the increase of population. In the report of the census of 1851, it is stated that the rate at which the population of Great Britain increased, It would remain now to notice that objections have been from 1801 to 1851, is such that if it continue to prevail raised on the part of some of the farmers. They fear uniformly, the population will double itself every 52.5 the results of such statistics-that such may be subse-years. That is to say, the population of Great Britain, quently used to their disadvantage, either by imposing in 1903, may be expected to reach 42,243,934 souls, who on them new taxes or by the raising of the rents, or will require 42,000,000 of quarters of wheat and wheat that they are intended for some political purposes. Such flour per annum. Will Great Britain extend its proobjections it is all important to remove by convincing ductive forces in an equal ratio? Much has of late the farmers of the utility of such accounts, and by been accomplished in agricultural science. The great showing them their bearing on the price of produce, discoveries of chemistry, the results of meteorological and on the public welfare. Sir John Boileau proposes observations, the extension and application of agricultural that commissioners be sent throughout the country mechanics, the improvements made in the land by drainto extend information among the farmers on the subject ing, by the removal of useless fences, by the diminution of agricultural statistics, and though the plan would be of fourfooted game, by the introduction of new kinds of attended with considerable expense, it would have the manures, by irrigation, and by improvement of farm effect of removing any prejudice which may still exist buildings, have all considerably enlarged the prospects of against such statistics, and facilitate materially the ob British agriculture. The progress of agricultural science is taining of compendious accounts from the most distant greatly owing to the combination of scientific with pracprovinces. tical instruction in agriculture. This science is now taught in the National Universities, where professor hips of rural economy, agricultural chemistry, botany, and geology, have been established. Agricultural colleges and model farms, for acquiring acquaintance with the management of a farm, have also been introduced with eminent success; whilst the agricultural institutions, such as the Royal Agricultural Society of England, the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, and the Royal Agricul tural Improvement Society of Ireland, have contributed materially in encouraging men of science to turn their atten

Having now expatiated on the expediency of obtaining such statistics, let us make some use of what are within our reach in this and other countries; calling your attention to the table of cultivated land, population, produce, and stock of some important continental States. We shall not follow the table which is appended, but offer some general observations on the principal topics it suggests. Russia by far exceeds any other country in the ex tent of soil under cultivation, but such is the disproportion which exists in the 51 Governments into which that country is divided, that whilst two Governments, Toulation to agriculture, in promoting the discovery of new vaand Tschervigow have 3.5ths of the land under cultiva- rieties of grain useful to man, or for the food of domestic tion, Astrakhan and Arkhangel have no more than animals, and in the spreading of sound information on all 1-1,000th. The state of agriculture in Russia suffers subjects connected with practical husbandry. Yet there materially for want of rain. The average quantity of is limitation even in productiveness and improvements. rain is given as follows, by M. Gasperin in French inches. Political economy has brought to light a great principle in In the west of England the law of production. Mr. J. Stuart Mill .. Land East do. differs from the other elements of production, labour, and capital, in not being susceptible of indefinite increase. After a certain and not very advanced stage in the progress of agriculture, as soon, in fact, as mankind have applied themselves to cultivation with any energy, and brought to it any tolerable tools-from that time. it is the law of production from the land, that in any given state of agricultural skill and knowledge, by increasing the labour, the produce is not increased in an equal de

says,

37.59

26.56

·

26.12 34.43 25.64 15.88

Agriculture is also affected there by the want of population in many parts of the country, whilst in others it abounds. But the greatest evil inflicted on agriculture is the system of servitude which prevails. In 1834 the

West of Europe

Southern parts of Greece and France
Northern parts of France and Germany.
Russia.

measure

gree-doubling the labour does not double the produce." interests of the nation collectively, and of the individuals Such being the law of production, and the quantity of composing it respectively. Also that such agricultural land capable of improvement in the United Kingdom statistics may be collected, either through the Registrar being limited, we must direct our eyos to emigration. A General, or the same machinery by which the recent migralory character is the law of all human beings. census of population was collected, or through the Poor Geology discovers the bonos of clophants in the arteries Law Board, and that whichever means is adoptod by Goof these northern islands. How they came here we vernment, it is all-important that it he sanctioned by public know not. The back woods of America, the antipodes opinion, and strengthened by individual efforts. Lastly, of Australia, are being peopled with the surplus of that such an inquiry is demanded, by the uncertainty to oar population. In the last decennium, to 1851, we which the people is exposed, as to the amount of food it sent them as many as 2,688,746 inhabitants, and emi. possesses within a certain time, with its ever-increasing gration is still proceeding at the rate of 300,000 a wants—by the Auctuation which follows in the prices of year. Now empires are thus created the bounties produce, often doubling or reducing its value, even to of the earth multiplied-civilization, commerce and the extent of cent. per cent., and by the necessity of religion shed their benign influence into continents and having a timely warning of future wants. Further, that islands. And though passions and ambition still control it is a

both expedient and necessary to our actions, and wars and anarchy still in fest our borders; the legislators to ascertain and study the wants, the rethough ignorance is still the lot of the masses—and sources, and the productive forces of the State whose though slavery still offers with impunity a sacrilege of helm they bear-to the jurist and moralist to ponder over God's creation in Republican America—there is a future those moral phenomena, so powerfully developed by solemnly advancing, of newer life and newer principles abundance or indigence, by the prevalence or declension science, majestically revealing the machinery of the great of aggrarian crimes and offences against persons and proUniverse—and our vision brightening beyond that starry perty—to the merchant, to appreciate the extent of the firmament whose brilliant appearance raises our aspirations held into which he is to operate, to be prompt, energetic, and ennobles our thoughts.

and calculating in his speculation, or to be slow in giving Reverting to our immediate subject, we have shown credence to vague fears and apprehensions to the shipthat the collection of agricultural statistics is an essen- owners, to afford sufficient amount of shipping to meet tial duty of the nation and of individuals—that it is a this imperative national want of bringing food from afarduty, the perforinance of which demanding an exten- and to the farmer himself, to regulate his dealing in the sive and permanent machinery, it behoves Govern- market, to learn the productive capacities of the soil, and ment to undertake-that the difficulties to its per- to establish the true basis for the adaptation and connecformance are more ephemeral than real, and that the tion of science with agriculture. objections raised against it are inconsistent with the true

AREA, POPULATION, AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE OF THE FOLLOWING COUNTRIES.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Inspector will then collect them within 28 days, consolidate the whole of his district in another printed form, and forward them thus consolidated to the Board of Trade, to be there arranged, and published as soon as possible in the Gazette. As the Comptroller of Corn Returns in the Board of Trade has already a good deal of the machinery for this duty, I would propose him as the fit officer to perform this duty. Each county, it must be observed, must be complete in itself; no one circuit must extend beyond the bounds of its county. I have, I fear, at too great a length stated my opinion as to the easiest mode of obtaining agricultural statistics. I have given the subject much consideration, and if I have in any way assisted in the desired object, I shall be amply repaid."

Mr. SAMUEL SIDNEY expressed his regret that he should rise thus early in the proceedings, but, nevertheless, he was extremely anxious to say a few words on the subject. He did not think that any person present at this meeting was likely to differ as to the conclusions which had been arrived at by the author of the paper. It was most desirable, he thought, that it should be known from year to year what the country produced, and what progress it made in agriculture. The pursuit of agriculture was upon a different footing to any other, and it was a fact, with respect to improvements in agriculture, that they had not shown such progression as they would have done had they been brought before the public through the medium of a correct system of agricultural statistics. It was quite clear, therefore, that they ought to be collected by some means or other, but it was most importaut that they should have a correct system. They knew that the fluctuations in agricultural produce were very considerable, one month they might have ample supplies; at another time they might be short; and at another there might be a sudden fall. Hence the value which would attach to a system such as he observed ought to be adopted; but it should be borne in mind that the good of the public must be considered. They all knew perfectly well that however useful an undertaking might be, it must be proved to be for the benefit of the public at large as well as for the advantage of those more immediately concerned; and in the present instance they would have to take some trouble to prove that agricultural statistics were not intended to be injurious to the farmers. It had been said that they would furnish a new attempt to reduce the price of corn. The answer he should make to this would be, that the great corn merchants had in their own hands the means of ascertaining the results of a corn harvest, particularly where wheat was concerned; and he was quite sure that if they could place in the possession of the public, shortly after the harvest, returns of the yield, and what they could supply for the rest of the year, they would no longer suffer from famines in the market. At the present moment a great deal of attention was paid to agricultural statistics of a particular kind. The Mark Lane Express went to considerable expense in collecting the price of corn in every part of the world; but they had no correct means of knowing what was the comparative progress which had been made in one part of a district over another. In some localities they showed that great progress had been made, whilst in others they gave no such information, because they had no practical proof before their eyes. The manner of collecting the statistics was a matter of considerable importance. He had very little faith in a system which would require that commissioners should be sent round the country to confer with the farmers as to the statistics of their produce. Farmers were a genial race of people, but they had a suspicion of commissioners. Therefore, he thought they must trust to the old and well-tested method which was furnished by the press. They would then achieve their object, by putting before the farmers, in a plain and intelligible way, information, which those who were naturally suspicious of any new scheme would not appreciate if it was proposed by persons of whom they knew nothing. The farmer would say that the landlord could raise his

DISCUSSION.

The SECRETARY read the following statement, which he had received from Mr. H. F. Jadis, the Comptroller of Corn Returns, Board of Trade, who was unable to attend the meeting.

|

Mr. H. F. JADIS says: "in 1849, the then President of the Board of Trade, Mr. Labouchere, in reply to a question put by Mr. Sanders, said, "There was great difficulty as to the nature of the machinery to be employed." I certainly feel, when so high an authority has admitted the experienced difficulty, that I am open to the charge of presumption in attempting its solution; but as I am aware that many plans have been proposed to obtain agricultural statistics, I too may venture to cast my plan into the general heap, and trust that a grain of wheat may here and there be gathered out of the thousand and one bushels of chaff. It is not a little wonderful, that while almost every interest has its own statistics-and overy European one its commercial, and, to a great extent, its agricultural, this country alone is in its greatest and most enduring interest unrepresented in the statistical world; or, if represented at all, so inefficiently, as to be of no practical benefit. The only statistics as regards the soil is to be found in the quantities and averages of corn published by the Comptroller of Corn Returns, Board of Trade. There are three modes which might be adopted to collect the information required. 1st. Clerks of Unions; 2nd. Parochial Clergy; 3rd. Paid Inspectors, specially appointed. 1. Union Clerks.-These would be very efficient, but their duties are already too onerous to expect them to devote much time to another. It must also be remembered, that the "Unions" are not universal," there being a considerable number of parishes under local and Gilbert's Acts. 2. The Parochial Clergy. This would be so strongly (and justly) opposed by the parties themselves, as entailing duties so foreign to their own, that I only mention it in consequence of some respectable parties having alluded to it. 3. Paid Inspectors.-These to be called "Inspectors of Agricultural Statistics," to be under the control of the Board of Trade, but not to be appointed or paid by it. They should be men of intelligence, and locally acquainted with the nature of the several farms; and in order to insure this, they should be appointed as our corn inspectors are, by the magistrates in Quarter Sessions a-sembled, and paid out of the county rates. By being so paid, they will be under the eyes of the magistrates and ratepayers, and can be removed on application to the Board of Trade, for neglect or inefficiency. One farthing per annum per acre, on 29,579,626 acres, the number under the Union, would realise full £30,000 a year, which, at £50 a head, will be ample funds for their payment. This rate cannot be objected to by the landed interest, as they must be materially served by the obtaining these returns with correctness. With regard to the modus operandi, I would divide England into districts or circuits. I find there are 595 Unions, and 31 under Local Acts, making 626 in all. and representing above 30,000.000 acres. This will give about 45,000 acres to each Union. Now, suppose each Inspector took a circuit of about 50,000 acres, he could efficiently perform his duty. The Inspectors to be furnished with a tabular printed form, containing columns for-1. Quantity of (approximated) all kinds of grain. 2. Number of acres under corn crops. 3. Number of acres under green crops. 4. Number under pasturage or meadow. 5. Number of head of cattle. 6. Number of sheep. 7. Quantity of (approximated) hay. 8. Price of cattle and sheep per head. 9. Rent per acre. 10. Amount of rates and taxes per acre. 11. Average of 4lb. loaf per half-year. 12. Average number of labourers per acre. 13. Rate of wages. 14. Nature of soil. The Inspector to deliver to every occupier one of these forms three weeks before Lady day and Michaelmas-day, with directions to fill them up on each of the above days. The

There are also 31 Unions in addition under Gilbert's Act.

rent, because, by agricultural statistics, he would find out collection of the returns be made in a manner as little how much produce his land yielded. It should be recol- inquisitorial or offensive as possible ; if either, they will be lected that many farm tenuncies were only from year to apt to fail in their main ohject, correctness. The employyear, anl the landlord could turn the farmer out whenever ment of confidential officers, bound to secresy, will be a be thought proper. But this was not an argument against guarantee against the use of the returns for any but public agricıltural statistics, but against farming on a tenancy purposes. 6. The first point to be ascertained is the from year to year. For his own part, he did not believe acreage under each different crop; and this, as will be there was anything in the argument at all. Another shown,* is by far the most important part of the inquiry. obection which had been raised was one which would be This will be, not an estimate, but a record of facts. It is fadiliar to those persons who kne v what farmers' leases requisite, therefore, that it be conducted with care and were. It was a great mistortune that a great deal of deliberation; and, as it may be begun as soon as the seed land was managed by lawyers, and not by landlords or is sown, the three mouths of May, June, and July, may their agents; and this, he considered, was au excellent he occupied in this part of the inquiry. 7. There can be reason for doing away with those absurd covenants which no reasonable objection on the part of any occupier to an were too often introduced into leases Mr. Sidney proceeded inquiry as to the manner in which the surface of his farm to say, that whatever plan they adopted it should be a is cropped. That is quite a different question from degeneral one - not to be carried out according to the par, manding to know the total produce of his crops. Nor ticular character of the landlord. The plan which had would there be the same objection, on the part of the been proposed by Mr. Jadis would not do at all ; it was farmers, to answer such questions when pit by a responexactly like an official plan, and would not be satisfactory sible and confidential officer, as by what might be thought to the public. No person who paid county rates would a prying and irresponsible neighbour. 8. The varying believe that they ought to

pay for a process measures and weights in use throughout the country are which was essentially national - and therefore the a further arguinent in favour of competently qualified plan should be one which appealed to the public at officers, who could personally ascertain the local measures, large. With respect to the persons who should collect and convert them into the recognised standard ; and this the statistics, he would only say it should be some one in might be made the direct means of introducing, and grawhom the farmers had confidence. Let them begin by dually establishing, a uniform standard of weights and making friends with the farmers, and by showing them measures. 9. The acreage under each different crop that it was not desired to lower the price of their produce, having been ascertained, the occupier would be required but to make the most of their land. This might be done to say, not what was the actual produce of a particular without any violent means, and not as against the field, but the actual produce per acre of each crop on his farmers, but with their co-operation. He was quite sure farm, in ordinary years. 10. Before harvest these importthat they would have no difficulty in carrying out the ant facts would thus have been ascerta ed, viz. ; - 1st. undertaking, if they proceeded in this spirit,

The extent under each kind of crop. 2nd. The average Mr. CHIRD said, he thought they must be all agreed produce per acre of ordinary years. There would remain that agricultural statistics, in a national point of view, to be ascertained after harvest, only—3rd. How much the were of the greatest importance, but imagined that if they yield of that crop was above or below the average. 11. taxed the farmer for that which was intended as a na. The effects of good or bad cultivation on each farm tional benefit, they would get him against them at once. having been ascertained by the average produce, it folThe quantity of grain sold annually in the English lows that the effects produced by good or bad weather market amounted to forty millions of quarters ; and if would be all that would reinain to be learned after har. accurate statistics should prevent the fluctuation of prices vest—and, as the effects of weather over a parish would to the extent of only one shilling a quarter, the sum be pretty uniform, a single answer, from a competent gained would amount to two millions sterling, which judge of light and heavy soils in each parish, would fix would pay for collecting the agricultural statistics of this this point. An alteration in the average quantity, to the country for the next century. He thought, after the requisite extent, could be made with great facility. paper which had been already read, that it was quite un- 12. It will be necessary that each collector of returns necessary to urge the importance of the subject; but he be provided with an accurate Map of the districts comwould read to the meeting a plan for collecting the statis- mitted to him, and a correct list of the occupiers of land tics which he had prepared, upon the principle that it in each parish. 13. The Tithe and Inclosure Commission would be improper that they should demand of the farmer Office is suggested, as it affords a machinery already organinformation as to his private affairs. With regard to the ised, with competently qualified officers locally employed muggestion for sending out commissioners to instruct the in every part of Great Britain. This office is also farmers how to fill np the returns, he would observe, that possessed of the most complete system of Maps of the during a very extensive experience, he had always met with various districts of the country which can at present be the greatest civility from farmers, and a desire to give him had. From these and the ordnance surveys, with local orery information which would he publicly useful and not information, a very accurate Map of each county and privately injurious, but he considered such a commission parish could be compiled. An accurate list of the occuont relvunnecessary. Mr. Caird proceeded to say that the primipleson which the system of collecting returns proposed of acres under each crop than the yield per acre, is shown by

* The greater importance of ascertaining accurately the number by hm was based, were-1. The main object is to obtain the Statistical Returns of Ireland, which tell us that trust vorthy returns, and these with the least necessary ex: In 1849, there were 687.646 acs. of wheat, yielding 2,148,893 qrs. pense. 2. Trustworthy returns can be obtained only In 1852, , only 353,566

1,154.205 throug, trustworthy officers, responsible for the correct perforinence of their duty, and working under a system Decrease in acres, 334.080

In wheat, 994,688 qrs* which afiirds a ready test of accuracy. 3. Economy will But, if the variation above or below average produce had been be promotzd by emplo ing a small number of competent alone taken without inquiry, at the same time, as to the proand responible men, rather than a very numerous body portion of acres under wheat, the returns would have been of local off:ials, each of whom must receive a fee, while entirely fallacious, the yield per acre in 1852 having averaged they would be comparatively irresponsible, and, from 26 bushels against 25 in 1819. Thus, taking the acreage of their numbers subject to no satisfactory test of accuracy. 1849, 687.646. and applying to it the average yield of 1852, the 4. As the returns, to be useful, must be made within a

returns would be 2,234,849. which woull be an error of no less very short time atter harvest, and before much of the The ascertainment of the area under each crop is thus clearly

than 1,080,614 quarters beyond the actual produce of 1852. corn can be thrashed, they must, necessarily; be of the the most important part of the returns, and this branch, as nature of an estirate, in so far as the yield per acre is already mentioned, may be conducted with care and deliberaconcerned. 5. It is desirable, for many reasons, that the tion, as its extends over a period, if necessary, of three months

[ocr errors]

piers of land would be obtained from the collector of rates shilling a quarter, would be repaid one hundred fold: in each parish. Taking the foregoing data as the princi. Each year's experience would render these returns more ples on which to conduct the enquiriy, we should pro- perfect, as all the persons engaged would acquire greater ceed thus :-Plan of operations. We shall suppose a accuracy in every branch of the inquiry. branch of the Tithe and Inclosure Commission Office, or Dr. WADDILOVE said he had listened with some attensuch other office as the Government may deem most tion to the paper which had been read by the Secretary ; suitable, to be the central office for issuing instructions, and it appeared to him that no practical benefit could controlling officers, inspecting and testing the accuracy of arise from the plan proposed in it. He was only seeking the returns, and for arranging them for publication. One, information, and he should be glad o know whether he two, and in some cases, three collectors of returns for each was not right in saying that no benfit would result from county, according to its extent, would be appointed. the scheme, unless it could be shown that the produce of These would be selected men, of known competence. the land would be thereby increased. If the object of the Each collector would be employed on an average 90 days statistics was merely intended to improve tho prospects of before harvest in ascertaining the acreage under each crop the farmers, he thought it would be unfair to saddle the and other particulars and 10 daysafter harvest in ascertain country with an expense which was merely intended for ing the comparative yield of the last crop. The collector, the advantage of private individuals. provided with his Map and list of occupiers, would, be- The CHAIRMAN said—the gentleman who had just tween the 1st of May and the end of July, personally visit spoken had rather misunderstood the object of the proevery occupier of land within his district, and mark down posed statistics. It was not directly to improve the in a book tho several particulars required to be ascertained. management of farms ;, but the object was, that at as This book would, when completed after harvest, be for- early a period as possible the couniry might be made warded to the central office in London, and would be pre- aware of the supply it might expect for its own sustenserved for being afterwards tested by the personal en- ance during the ensuing year, in order that they might quiry of a superior officer. Immediately after harvest, the make provision for any dificiency. It was not (with this collector would again visit each parish in his district, and view) so important to ascertain the exact amount of prosatisfy himself as to whether the crop of each kind was duce as the relative amount. In all these cases it was an average, or in how far it was above or below an average. sufficient to rely upon an approximation to the exact Having already calculated the average produce of each yield. This was all they required, and it was the only crop in a parish, he would alter that to correspond with result possible, because they could not get any real result the actual produce of the particular season. Thus, for until long after the corn was consumed. He could not example, if he had ascertained that a certain parish but think that the suggestions of Mr. Caird and of Mr. had 1500 acres in wheat, which at the rate of the average Wingrove Cooke would be useful, as it would be suffiof years yielded 39.000 bushels, but that the actual cient for practical purposes if they could ascertain the yield of that year had proved 2 bushels an acre below the probable yield of the coming crops by the number of average, he would subtract 3000 bushels from the above acres under cultivation. There would be no great diffiquantity, and return 36,000 bushels as the estimated yield culty in getting the information they required if they of wheat in that parish. The main part of the calcu- sent down to the Chairman of every Board of Guardians, lations having been completed before harvest, the alter- who would supply them with an account of the numbor ations necessary after harvest would be made with great of acres in his particular district, and the extent of yield facility, and the gross returns of the crops be ready for on the different classes of land at a given period when the publication by the 10th of October. Monthly reports of corn should be ripe. the state of the growing crops at the most critical period, Mr. Morton, as a farmer, felt the necessity for a corwould be made during the three months of enquiry. rect system of agricultural statistics, and stated that, in It would be part of the duty of the central office to test the year 1847, when the great fluctuations alluded to in the returns of every collector by an Inspector taking his the paper bad occurred, he was unfortunate enough to returns for a particular parish, and investigating on the sell a large quantity of grain just before the rise in the spot each statement recorded. This should be done in market took place, and on the prices falling he was again spring, so that the estimate might be compared with induced to sell. Had he been in possession of, or had the the fact after

was thrashed out; and means of obtaining correct information as to the amount thus any carelessness or gross inaccuracy would be of grain on hand and the probable demand, he should detected, and a useful guide be supplied for the not have been exposed to such uncertainty in his profuture. Incompetency or carelessness would be visited ceedings. with loss of employment. After the gross returns of

Mr. Slaney said this was one of the most important produce were issued, (which would be the first object,) it subjects, both to the farmer and to the people, which would be the duty of the Central Office to compile from could possibly be brought under their notice. It should the returns such valuable statistics as had a special bear- he recollected that it was owing rather to scarcity and ii g on the agricultural improvement of the kingdom, and other natural causes, than to anything that could belong of every separate district in it. As to the expense of to man's doing, that prices were much higher at one tine obtaining the returns, it is obvious that there will be con- than at another. Therefore, he believed, that, if there siderable economy in taking advantage of an existing were any means of collecting the statistics of agricultural department of government, such as the Tithe and Inclo-produce, it would tend to diminish discontent with bure Commission, upon which this scheme might be regard to the fluctuation of prices. Some little time ago. without much difficulty engrafted. The officers employed being on the Council of the Royal Agricultural Soin the various parts of the country hy this department are ciety, he had had the privilege of inspecting the crops on chiefly occupied at present in the autumn, winter, and the estate of the late Earl of Ducie, and froni wha: he then spring months, so that the duties of this enquiry would not witnessed, he was quite convinced that to none would interfere much with their ordinary dutis. For the first year agricultural statistics be of greater benefit tan to the a greater number of persons would be required to organise great mass of the working classes of this country; In the system, but in after years the whole cost would certainly some of the manufacturing towns a number of workmen not exceed £25,000 per annum. When it is considered had combined together for the purpose o purchasing that the estiinated produce of the United Kingdom in provisions, and they were thus enabled to ascertain that grain of all kinds is 60 million quarters annually, 40 mil. high prices did not arise from any injustice inflicted upon lions of which come upon the market for sale, and that them, but from natural causes. 'He thought this system one shilling per quarter of fluctuation in price amounts to might be carried out on a much larger scale, if they were £2,000,000 sterling, the cost of collecting accurate infor furnished with every species of farm produce in every mation which should limit this fluctuation by only one part of the country.

the crop

« AnkstesnisTęsti »