FARRIERS AND FARMERS.
 
COST OF IRON IN RELATION TO SHOEING PRICES.
 
A gold watch was presented to MR. WILLIAM LITTLE of Torpenhow, the District Secretary of the National Master Farriers' Association, by MR. E. EMMERSON, of Birkenhead, chairman of the Association, on behalf of the Workington and Wigton branches, on the occasion of the annual dinner at the Central Hotel, Workington, on Saturday night.
 
The Mayor, (MR. J. P. BENNETT), who presided, said he hoped the Government would see the necessity of encouraging the breeding of horses, and urged the Association to make representations to this end.  The horse would always be an important adjunct of British commerce.  In the country districts it was impossible to get the motive power required, other than by horse-power.  (Hear, Hear.)
 
MR. EMMERSON stated that there were 15 or 16 thousand people carrying on the business of farriery in Great Britain, and the Association had about 11,000 of them in its ranks.
 
MR. W. LONGCAKE (Maryport), the district chairman, proposing the toast of "The Association", warned the members that there was a brand of Belgian iron on the market, and said he was given to understand that some merchants had been selling it at the same price as Scottish and English iron.  He advised them to examine their iron, and if it had two staples on it to return it, because it was Belgian iron and rubbish. ("Quite right.")  The nail question, he said, was a source of anxiety, but the question of the Association having works of its own, in which the members would be asked to invest not more than £5 each, was coming before the next A.G.M.
 
There had been comment on their last price list.  Some thought that they had not dropped their prices far enough.  It was not business to drop their prices on a rising market.  They had met the farmers at Carlisle, and thought that everything was settled, but the farmers were having another meeting, and farriers' charges were again on the agenda.
 
In Cumberland they had been paying the biggest price for iron of any district North of Shropshire.  He had taken the matter up with the iron merchants and told them that if they did not pull down their prices and stop the trouble the farmers were causing, drastic action would be taken.  When the merchants saw that something was going to be done, they reduced their prices.
 
Other toasts and a musical programme followed, the artistes being MRS. E. GRAHAM,   MISS S. BELL,   MISS BIRKETT,   MESSRS. WALTER LITTLE,   J. H. HUDDART,  and  MR. SCOTT, with MR. W. J. LITTLE as accompanist.