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ASPATRIA AGRICULTURAL SHOW continued

THE DINNER continues
                         THE CHAIRMAN continues.........

There is an idea - no doubt a correct idea - that next year we shall have
legislation in regard to the tenure of land; not, I presume, in this
country, but in Ireland.  I only want to make one remark upon the subject,
and that is,it appears that in Ireland men who expend their labour, and some
portion of their capital upon the soil as tenant farmers in innumerable
instances do not get the value of that labour.  They are not allowed to
enjoy the fruits of their labour.  Putting the question in that way every
one sees that it is an unfair and unjust state of things and although I am
not going to sketch out an Irish land bill, legislation is required to
enable a man to enjoy the fair fruits of his own labour.  (Cheers).  I do
not know whether we don't want something of that sort in England also; but
that is looking a good way forward, and it is too wide and too contested a
question for me to go further into at this moment.  Perhaps legislation of
that sort may lead ultimately to the land being held in smaller portions;
it may lead to smaller holdings.I do not know that there would be a great
deal of evil in that.  I read the very interesting speech of Lord Stanley
the other day, who almost always takes a practical common sense view of any
matter he discusses -(Hear, hear) - and he said he set his face somewhat
against small occupations of land because the small occupiers would not be
able to devote sufficient capital to the cultivation of the soil.  That is a
sound objection, I dare say, so far as it goes, but I believe if we had land
divided into smaller holdings, the small holders could still employ
machinery for its cultivation by co-operation among themselves.

The small occupier could not buy expensive engines to work a small holding,
but a number of them might, by co-operation, obtain proper machinery for the
cultivation of the land,and might succeed in cultivating it almost as well
as if it were cultivated by more wealthy and larger holders.(Cheers).  And
that brings me to implements.

We had not many implements on the ground to-day, and really I don't think
that at small shows we do very much good by giving prizes for implements, as
we cannot expect the best implements to come to the small shows to receive
the small remuneration we are able to offer.  But, notwithstanding that, I
believe, the application of machinery and improved implements to the
cultivation of land is one of the most important questions of the day.  We
often hear it said at the dinners, and very truly said, that a man who makes
two blades of grass to grow where only one grew before, is a benefactor to
society.  True, but that man is an equal benefactor to society who enables
the labour of one man by means of machinery to accomplish what two men were
required to do before; and when we hear people say that machinery throws men
out of work, I think a fallacy operates upon their judgment. (Hear, hear).
It appears to me such people look upon work as the end.  Now work is only
the means. (Cheers).

If work were the end, he would be the cleverest and wisest man who could
employ  the most people in doing one thing; but we all know that if you get
work done by one man instead of two, it cheapens the article, benefits the
consumer, and benefits the whole people.  (Cheers).

I have ventured to make these few remarks, and I touched upon the
co-operation of farmers.  I believe you may do a good deal in that way not
only as regards machinery, but I believe you may do it as regards the
purchase of manures and of seeds.  I lately joined an agricultural
co-operation society because I thought it desirable to give it what little
encouragement was in my power.I hold in my hand a prospectus of that
society, and some of my friends and neighbours have already joined it and
others are doing so.Its object is to enable farmers to get pure and
unadulterated seeds and manures.I believe that hundreds of thousands, I may
say millions, of money have been lost by the agriculturists of this country
by getting improper and imperfect seeds. (Cheers).  The society deals not
only with shareholders, but with all others who may wish to purchase from
them, and they guarantee that their seeds shall be pure and their manure
unadulterated.

And there is no object in their giving anything else but pure seeds and
manure, because the whole of the profit goes to the shareholders themselves,
and any attempt to impose bad articles upon their customers would be
imposing upon themselves.  (Hear, hear). I believe that if farmers generally
would join some scheme of this sort, they would save a considerable sum of
money in their agricultural operations.  (Cheers).  We are getting on well
in Asptaria.  We appreciate the benefits of machinery and of improved
agricultural implements.  What a change has taken place even in my
recollection.

to be continued..................