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model farms, agricultural colleges, breeding establishments, where the best English cattle are kept; there are shows, both local and general; there have even been some called universal and international. We have heard of a vote of £4,000,000 sterling for drainage; there is a bank of crédit foncier; very large sums of money are spent from the consolidated funds and from local resources, in liberal prizes and encouragement. Surely all these must have exerted a considerable influence upon French agriculture, and given an extraordinary impetus to its progress."
Surely, at any rate, say his hearers, the effort is a noble one; and if such encouragement does not effect something, it ought to. But what says Monsieur? He answers us with a very terrible simile :
"We have all heard of-and some of my audience, perhaps, have seen-a strange and somewhat awful experiment performed by means of a galvanic pile upon a corpse. A wire is put in communication with the spinal marrow, and life, movement, and action are restored to the muscles; the corpse will stand erect, open its eyes, move its arms and legs; its livid lips will quiver as if they were going to speak, and to all appearances death has been conquered, and the corpse lives: but only interrupt the mysterious current from the pile, and the lustre of the eyes will vanish, the arm will fall inert, the jaw will hang, the eyelids will close, and the ghastly corpse will fall to the ground, once more a helpless mass, on the verge of decomposition. In like manner the action of the French Government props up a show of activity, a show of vitality, in the French agricultural interest; but it exists only on the surface.
Who are those who exhibit at the shows? They are only a few amateur fancy farmers; and the specimens they exhibit very often constitute the totality of the stock they have on their farm, and are by no means a sample of the agriculture of their districts. The farmers, with very few exceptions, are not only not exhibitors, but not even visitors. The schools have been productive of very little good. As farms, they have been lamentable failures, and the peasants point to them as instances of the folly of modern ideas; in fact they do not pay, and as model farms they ought to pay."
And so on. But Monsieur Trehonnais should bear in mind that a whole people do not take to a business like this on the instant. It was some years, even, before our own great agricultural show came to be appreciated, and for many it had to bear up against all kinds of abuse and ridicule. We really believe that, whatever the Emperor may have done for France in other ways, his laudable attempts to advance the agriculture of the country have been both judicious and effective. We may-indeed we must, wait for such a result; but it will come nevertheless.
We could wish to have concurred more fully with the tone of this paper. Somehow or other, however, it was scarcely suited to an English taste, and there was not a speaker who followed Monsieur Trehonnais but that dissented from his deductions and opinions. As these were chiefly friends of his own, this expression of fecling is the more remarkable. The last few years have given many the opportunity of seeing something of French agriculture, as well as of what the Emperor is doing for it.
THE GAME LAWS.
INJURIOUS EFFECTS OF UNDUE PRESERVATION OF GAME ON OUR HOME SUPPLIES.
At a recent meeting of the Milborne St. Andrew Farmers' Club, Mr. Richards opened a discussion on this subject. Mr. H. Fookes in the chair.
not need to be told by me that it is a case which admits of no such rule of calculation. Could farmers by any means confine these animals, cause them to feed where they would choose, and make them eat their way clean as they go, then it may be possible to arrive at something like a correct estimate of the value of keep. But this you know to be impossible. What, then, are the facts? Take first the swede crop, which, as you are aware, is raised at a heavy outlay, and which, probably, the grower intends as a provision for his sheep in the spring, and on which he may be solely dependent for food at that period. What, then, are his disappointment, inconvenience, and loss, when he finds that instead of twenty tons per acre which he had on his land in November, he has, in the month of March, not more than ten? and, probably, of the ten tons lost, not more than two or three have been eaten, or even less than this, as you well know that when turnips are bitten they decay, and, for one ton actually consumed, five, or even more, may rot in the ground. And now, gentlemen, how shall we estimate the loss arising from such destruction ? The answer of some may be, Why, you lose so many tons of swedes, the market value of which is so much." That I admit is your first direct loss; but, where a flock of sheep is kept which have to be fed on that farm, who shall say what the loss may be on that flock? And this is only a mere beginning of injuries; for, if you have but one-half the amount of keep to feed on your land, you leave on that land only one-half the quantity of manure which would have been left had you fed your entire crop. I need scarcely ask you what will be the effect on your next crop? Where hares and rabbits have eaten swedes they will also visit barley; and, as by the loss of so large a portion of your turnip crop you have been unable to leave much manure, your corn crop grows sparingly, and the consequence is that it requires a large breadth to furnish food for these nightly visitors; and at harvest you may make up your mind to be content with, it may be, less than half the crop that you would have had but for the ravages of these vermin. I do not intend to attempt
Mr. RICHARDS proceeded-Although the circumstance of my bringing before you the subject for our discussion this evening originated from a passing joke, yet permit me to say that I consider it a very grave and important subject, and one which deserves our most serious consideration. I say then, gentlemen, it is an important subject-and why? My answer is, because it involves the question of a most serious loss to the country at large, and a perfectly ruinous one to individuals. You who know what quantities of agricultural produce are annually destroyed by rabbits and hares, will not be surprised to hear me say that my opinion is, it would be possible to show that the preservation of game lessens our home produce to nearly the extent of our importations. I would not have you understand me to say that food to this amount is eaten by rabbits and hares, but that our produce is lessened in one way and another to this extent. I would now proceed to show in what way the preservation of rabbits, hares, and game generally may be said to lessen our produce; to consider the effect, direct and indirect, to individuals, and to the public; and to suggest a means by which an equal amount of sport would be afforded, without the objectionable consequences which now exist in many cases. First, then, in what way is agricultural produce so lessened by the preservation of game? And here I may be met with the objection that rabbits are not game, and therefore it is unfair to consider the damage done by them under this head. To this I would answer that, in preserving game, the increase of rabbits is almost a certain consequence; and although they may not, strictly speaking, constitute game, yet to kill them is an offence punishable under the game laws, and an act which, on the part of a tenant, would displease a game-preserving landlord. It may be said "Why, it will only take so much to keep a rabbit, and so much a hare, and therefore the consumption cannot be so great." But you do
to trace these effects to their end, but I cannot stop yet. I would next inquire, what are the results of a deficient corn crop? Not only are you deprived of your fair returns from this branch of your produce, but the amount of straw is also lessened; consequently you have not the quantity to convert into manure to return to your land again, which you ought to have, and your future crops must suffer. Some may say one good arises from a light crop of barley, which is, that your clover and grasses do better. In some measure this may be true; but, remember, before you reap much benefit from this crop you have to pass through a winter; and I would inquire what is your experience of the effect of incessant close feeding through a winter on a clover crop? I venture to assert that no crop, whether sainfoin, red clover, or any other description of clover, is proof against the continual feeding of a large stock of hares and rabbits, and that consequently the destruction of your clover crop is as certain as that of your corn crop. Your land, in its turn, comes to wheat, and this being an autumn-sown crop gives a long period, at a time when food is scarce, for game to feed on it. And here, too, as you well know, if too closely fed, its destruction is certain; and if not really killed, is so checked by repeated bleeding, that it will not grow until a late period in the spring; and the consequence is that you get scarcely any corn in your straw, and, what little you have, of most inferior quality. Rabbits, as you are aware, feed on and keep down a certain breadth, whereby the injury is perceptible at a glance; whereas hares cut roads in all directions through corn, leaving those roads completely covered with ears of corn; and therefore, unless a close inspection is made, it would almost pass unobserved, but although the damage is less apparent, it is, I believe, greater in amount. You are aware, gentlemen, that all I undertook to do was merely to launch the subject for you, in order that the various members may have an opportunity to express their opinions, and I think what I have said is sufficient for that purpose, as well as to show that the actual destruction by hares and rabbits is very considerable. But it is not to this alone that I attribute the deficiency on our home produce. Consider the many thousands of acres of useful land at this time made available for nothing but for the preservation of game. Look, again, at the additional thousands which, although not actually incumbered and forming preserves, are but very imperfectly cultivated from their contiguity to game preserves. Consider, then, the increased amount which may be grown were all these lands well cultivated and none of the produce consumed, and ray whether you do not think that England may be made to feed her own population? Next, then, as to the effects of this destruction. To the individual who suffers the direct loss it is most ruinous. No consideration of rent can compensate for it, and I believe it would not be difficult to trace to this cause the ruin of many a man of capital. There is a maxim, not unfrequently quoted, that "The man who makes two blades grow where only one grew heretofore, is a benefactor to his country." May it not with equal truth be said that he who imposes an obstacle to the full development of the resources of our soil is an enemy to his country? It appears to me that there can be no more genuine source of national wealth than the produce of our soil, particularly as it furnishes the chief necessaries of life; and whether the food for our population be raised on our own soil, or whether a large proportion be purchased in foreign countries, at a cost of many millions sterling per annum, is a question of no small amount to the country at large. I think the farmers of England may say-"Allow us fair scope for the application of our capital, our skill, and our energies, and you shall have little occasion to go to foreign shores for human food." Are we, then, to curtail the rights of our aristocracy to their sports? I would be the last man to make such a proposition, and I am quite sure there are none among you who would not be pleased to show your landlord and his friends a fair amount of sport; and I think this could be done without the present system of game preserving, and at a much less cost to the landlord. I should hope there is enough of principle among the agricul turists of the present day, to entitle them to a little confidence from the owners; and I would say, make every tenant keeper over his own farm; give him at least an unrestricted right to kill rabbits and hares, and you shall find an equal, if not an increased amount of legitimate and fair sport; for every farmer would feel a pride in showing his landlord and his friends good sport; he would take an interest in the preservation of game, whilst he would have it in his power to protect himself from the injuries of the rabbits and hares. He would
overlook a little damage done by hares rather than not have enough of them to afford a fair amount of sport. We all know the difference between a voluntary and a compulsory loss; and whilst a man would bear cheerfully with the one, he would feel the other to be a gross injustice. Give a man an interest in the game, and he at once feels responsible for its preservation, and becomes as jealous over it as over his own stock. He would discountenance poaching, and thereby prevent breaches of the law, which sometimes lead to more serious crime. No man has the same influence with the labourer as the master, and no man so likely to know his habits and character; and who can doubt that when a man is suffering severe losses by game, and dares not defend himself against them, nor in any degree participate in the sport of destroying it, he will sometimes shut his eyes to acts of poaching, and that, too, without feeling that he is really countenancing a breach of the law? Gentlemen, 1 feel I have occupied a full share of your time, although I have but feebly and imperfectly discharged the duty I undertook. Having been bred a practical farmer, my education and early associations have not fitted me either for an author or an orator; but of this you may rest assured, that the little experience I have gained by my intercourse with the world is ever at your service, for I feel that we are linked together by bonds of no common order, our object being not our individual benefit, but the common good of all. When I have heard the remarks of the members present, and should I find their views accord with mine, I shall be prepared to submit a resolution to the meeting.
Mr. DOWDEN said, although he agreed with Mr. Richards' arguments, he was happy to say he did not suffer from an excess of the game nuisance at the present time. The evil had been put down to a great extent, as he was at liberty to kill hares, rabbits, &c., on his farm. He, however, remembered the time when he could have shot one hundred and fifty couple of rabbits in one day. This species of game he regarded as more destructive than any other; as, wherever they assembled in numbers, they poisoned the soil, and ruined everything that came after them.
The CHAIRMAN (Mr. H. Fookes) could not agree with Mr. Richards as to the loss inflicted by the preservation of game in England. No doubt, however, rabbits did a great deal of mischief to the crops and herbage. He considered that the farmer was a better preserver of game than the gamekeeper; for the privilege to shoot gave him as much interest in preserving it as any other man. He had not much confidence in gamekeepers generally, though there might be some respectable men amongst them.
A conversation took place respecting the means adopted to snare rabbits by traps, so as not to hazard the lives of other game. The Chairman expressed an opinion that this sine qua non was altogether delusive, and said that the same trap which caught rabbits could snare all other game.
Mr. RICHARDS, in reply, said he thought more members of the club would have expressed their opinions upon the subject. With regard to the Chairman's comment on his remark as to the quantity of produce consumed in England by game, he would reply that the damage done in this county was less than in any other. In other counties the damage was infinitely greater; the game being more strictly preserved. In many instances also it was deemed disrespectful for a tenant to make complaint to his landlord against a gamekeeper, and the consequence was that there were no greater poachers anywhere than gamekeepers. Mr. Richards then submitted the following resolution to the approval of the club: Resolved-"That it is the opinion of this club, that the manner in which game is preserved in some districts is most objectionable, inasmuch as it impedes the advancement of agriculture, subjects the tenant farmer to serious losses and inconvenience, and in many cases is the cause of disagreement and ill-feeling between landlord and tenant. And whilst we do not wish a repeal of the game laws, or in any way to infringe the rights of property, we consider that if tenants were allowed the right of sporting over their own farms, to the extent of killing hares and rabbits, they would insure to the landlord an equal amount of sport to that which he now enjoys, and in most cases the chief cause of complaint would be removed."
The CHAIRMAN said he fully coincided with the resolution, and on being put to the meeting, it was carried unanimously.
Mr. ROBT. FOOKES moved, and Mr. DALE seconded, a vote of thanks to Mr. Richards.
MEETING OF HOP-PLANTERS FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE DUTY.
On Friday, March 18, a large and highly influential meeting, of hop-planters and others was held at the Sussex Hotel, Tunbridge Wells, for the purpose of promoting the repeal of the excise duty on hops. There were between 300 and 400 pre
was not paid by the consumer (Hear, hear). It was also said that they could grub their hops if they found the cultivation of them did not pay, and thus relieve themselves of the burden. He had no doubt they all knew, being practical men, that there was some difficulty in that matter; they were aware that they had a large amount of labour upon their hands. He, for one, had lately, and perhaps most of the large planters had, grubbed a portion of their hops; but they could not get rid of the labouring population. That hung upon them in some way or other, and they must be maintained; and he had himself set on many extra hands, because many were literally starving. In fact, he had more hands than he knew how to employ; but in the country districts it was not so easy to be disengaged from them, and that was one reason why it was so difficult to get rid of their plantations. If a man took a farm of some 200 or 300 acres, of which 20 were planted with hops, a large proportion of the valuation was taken upon the hop ground, perhaps £20 or £30 an acre. Therefore a man's capital became locked up in that way; and if he grubbed his hops, he by that means destroyed his property. Another reason why they could not grub their hops so easily as was supposed was that it was always after a heavy crop that they wanted to grub, because there was a larger produce than they required; in fact, they could not regulate the supply. With malt it was just the reverse-they made as much as was wanted. But they could not manage the hops in that way, as they did not know what produce there would be; but, after all, so far as grubbing was concerned, the greatest drawback was the duty itself. A man had got perhaps ten or twenty acres, prices were very low, and the tax something like £20 per acre, if he grew a ton an acre: He grubbed his hops and covered the land with corn, and probably got a profit of £3 or £4 an acre, but the succeeding crop had to pay the tax upon the previous year's produce (Hear, hear); therefore, if a man had £300 or £400 duty to pay upon twenty acres of hops, it ruined him. He must not, therefore, grub. Those were strong reasons, he thought, why they should get rid of the duty; but he had no doubt they all knew the matter as well as himself. He had been a grower for the last twenty-five years, and during late years at a considerable expense. He had found it a most unprofitable speculation; and he was persuaded that, unless they got rid of the excise duty, they could not continue to grow hops in these counties. If that were so, he would ask, "What would be. come of the labouring population in the hop districts ?" He was himself at a loss to know.
Mr. PARKER (Tunbridge) seconded the resolution, which was carried unanimously.
Mr. JOHN SIMES rose to propose the second resolution, which was as follows: "That it is the duty as well as the interest of all hop growers and others resident in or connected with the hop districts to take all the means in their power to procure the immediate abolition of this unjust tax." He was in the habit of making valuations, and he had been struck at the number of farms that had lately been stripped for payment of the hop duty. He was also in the habit of receiving rents, and had therefore had opportunities of noticing the difficulties with which those payments were met, and in many cases could not be met in consequence of the tenants having had to meet the hop duty. He was well aware that there was a difference of opinion upon the subject, and he was very sorry that it was so. It was only a few, however, who objected to the present movement, and they were only those who were seeking to retain a monopoly: they were trying to drive the industrious classes out of the market. If they made a fair calculation they would find that in the Weald of Kent and Sussex they had been paying something like 35 or 40 per cent. more than the Mid-Kent people. There lay the question. Let the Kent people, who were so bigotted in their opinions, and who tried all they could to drive others out of the market, have 40 per cent. put upon them. How would the question appear then, he should like to know; he was sure that they would soon be
On the motion of Mr. Moses Body, chairman of the committee, Mr. Rutley (Wrotham) was called to preside.
The CHAIRMAN said it would be his first duty to inform them that the meeting had been convened by bills drawn up by the committee appointed at the Robertsbridge meeting. As to the object the society had in view, he could only repeat the advice which he gave the planters at the Robertsbridge meeting, namely, that if they wished to secure the public attention and interest in their cause, they must proceed boldly upon a broad principle, and persevere consistently in one course. It was a matter of very great congratulation that so many persons had assembled. He took the circumstance as unmistakable evidence of the wide-spread depression-he might say distress, which they saw around them, and which had aroused them to public action. If he understood the objects of the meeting aright, it was not, however, merely to assert their distress and proclaim their losses, but to state publicly that they believed themselves to be unjustly subjected to a heavy and burthensome duty, and to devise the best possible means to get rid of it-to assert that the hop duty in its apportionment was unjust and unequal as a tax. There was no other tax like it upon any industrious class whatever in the country. He was well aware, however, and he did not wish to ignore it, that there were even hop-growers who would prefer that the duty should remain as it was, rather than that it should be repealed. That desire arose from the circumstance that those growers had many peculiar advantages of soil and situation, and did not feel the pressure to the extent that the majority of growers now experienced. That was the reason why they found those persons were in a position to pay the duty. But he could not consider the mere fact of one particular set of planters in a certain district desiring to maintain the duty was any argument in its favour; indeed, he should rather say no further proof was necessary that the duty was unjust and unequal, because one set of men were anxious for its continuance, while the majority were oppressed by it, and wished for its repeal. The persons who were anxious that things should remain as they were, asserted that hop-growing always had been, and always would be, a lottery; that it was a great speculation, and that all who entered into its cultivation ought to be prepared to meet its contingencies. They had been told that if they were patient the market would rise again, and they would have more years of profit. He well knew that they had had such years, and that they might occur again, even under the present system. But upon what circumstances would that improvement arise? It would be the very consequence of their present ruin, and the evils which had been already inflicted by the duty. Planters had been driven to grub their hops, and cease from their cultivation altogether, and it was at such a cost and sacrifice that any temporary prosperity would be secured. The attendance around him persuaded him that they were no longer inclined to submit to this unjust imposition.
Mr. MOSES BODY then rose to propose the first resolution, which was, "That the excise duty on hops is most oppressive to the grower, unequal in its pressure, most uncertain in the amount of revenue derived from it, and most unjust, hops being the only agricultural produce subject to taxation in the hands of the grower, upon which the duty is levied irrespective both of the value of the article and the cost of production." He did not stand before them as an advocate of free trade in hops, for he did not know that they could grow hops under that principle. Some told them that the duty was a tax upon the consumer, and that it did not press much upon the grower; but they well knew that they had very recently been selling hops at 17s., 18s., and 20s. per cwt., and he should like to know who had paid the duty on those, if the grower had not. It was very clear it
rowing in one boat, and all would go hand and heart together in the endeavours to get the tax removed. All they wanted was a fair stand up fight. At present he was quite satisfied they were labouring under free-trade prices, and had at the same time a heavy duty hanging over them, and they need not expect to get anything during the next two years in the shape of new profit. The duty consumed them more than free trade. If any of them had anything to say on the subject he hoped they would do it manfully, and let the public know that they were unanimous. They must give a "long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether," until the tax was laid under their feet.
Mr. J. KENWARD (Uckfield) rose to second the resolution. It might not, he said, be deemed prudent on his part to do so, as he had been on the opposition side, but he now found that he had been travelling on the wrong road. He made it his business, however, to attend that day, and render his assistance in endeavouring to get rid of the tax.
Mr. J. WIBLEY (Sevenoaks) said he was a grower of highpriced hops, but he heartily agreed with the two resolutions that had been proposed. He was an old free-trader, and did not fear the importation of foreign hops in the least. He thought the high-priced men in Mid Kent and East Kent would benefit more from free-trade than any part of Sussex or the Weald of Kent; the consumption would increase according as hops were lowered in price. Why should they be ruined in their prosperity year after year, merely to be protected £1 63. from foreign hops? it was a complete bugbear; it was all very well when hops were eight guineas a cwt.
Mr. NASH (Rochester) said he had been called upon to move-"That a society having been formed to promote the repeal of the duty upon hops, this meeting pledges itself to take the most active measures to support that society in the attainment of its object." He stood before them as a Kent planter of more than twenty years' experience; he had grown hops in the hill district as good as most men grow, at least they had fetched as good a price-and he must say that he did not wish to see any gentleman grub his hops. He had been to Somerset-house and made extracts from some of the books. He would have them
clearly to understand that there were altogether three duties-the old duty, the new duty, and the 5 per cent., and he would tell them what had been the amount of each for every year. In 1711 the old duty of 1d. in the lb. was put on; 1778 the ld. per lb. was continued, and the 5 per cent. was put on; in 1780, 10 per cent. was added; in 1783, 15 per cent. was added; and in 1786, 1d. and 2-20ths was added; in 1801 it was 24d.; in 1806, it was reduced to 2d.; in 1840, when all exciseable articles were taxed, 5 per cent. was laid on; nearly all the latter tax had been removed, the only articles on which it remained being paper, malt, and hops: he believed that was a fact. He had taken the three years 1855-6-7, and he would give them the returns for those years, as he had taken them from the House of Commons. The amount of the new duty and war tax in 1855 was £294,643 10s., and the additional 5 per cent. on that was £34,661 10s. 44d., making £329,305 0s. 44d. The planters had been called upon to pay that above the 1d. per lb. duty. Those were startling items, but correct ones. In 1856, the new duty amounted to £197,869 2s. 43d.; and the additional 5 per cent, £23,267 Is. 34d.; making £221,136 3s. 8d. In 1857, the new duty was £168,999 13s. 103d., and the additional 5 per cent, being £19,879 15s. 64d, making £188,879 9s, 5d. The total of the last three years, of what he would say they were called upon to pay in excess of the ld. per lb. was £739,320 13s. 5fd. If such a
statement as that, of which he vouched for the truth, would not make them active, he did not know what would. Allusion had been made to the customs duty, which he did not think they had any right to have; for what had they to be afraid of, when he told them that the customs duty upon hops sent into this country year before last, and charged at 45s. per cwt., only amounted to £22,546? It did not amount to £10,000 of their duty, and were they willing to pay £417,526 to keep that £10,000. He recommended they should call a meeting in every parish, and get up subscriptions in every possible way. He for one would pledge himself to get subscribers to the amount of £50. Many people he was aware agreed with Mr. Dodson, M.P., that members of parliament did not know very much about the subject of the hop duty; but he begged to assure them that from many interviews he had had with those gentlemen they did know something of the subject and were taking a lively interest in their welfare. He was happy to tell them that he had received many promises from members that they would vote for the repeal (renewed cheers). He hoped therefore the planters of Sussex would set a firstrate example, and they might depend upon it that others would follow them, for they were all beginning to feel the pressure and would be glad to work alike. He had gone the length and breadth of the three kingdoms; and knew the general feelings of the country. If the planters would help themselves, everybody else was ready to assist them.
Mr. BARCLAY seconded the resolution. He observed that let him go where he might, and the subject of the hop duty was mentioned, people who knew nothing about it frequently said, "What did it signify to the planters? They got their prices for the hops, which included the duty, or they would not grow them." That was a point to which they should turn their particular attention. The growers knew and felt that they paid the duty, and that in many instances they never got back again any sum of money which at all represented it. There were too many of them held hops of 1855, and there was very little doubt that a large proportion of them would never be sold, and the growers would therefore not see the duty, to say nothing of the expense to which they had been put. What they had to do principally was to show, as nearly as they could, the situation in which they were with regard to the duty. They were called upon to pay it whether the hops were sold or not, and under any circumstances; if the hops were spoiled the duty must be paid out of their pockets. But the business in which they were at present engaged was as important a matter as any hop-grower could undertake, for they ought to get rid of the excise duty if they could by any possibility; for he was sure there were very few farmers who did not feel that heavier than any other payment. It was asked for in large sums, and at a time when they had sold the article for which it was claimed. If they did not care for the duty, and he believed there were a few in that situation, he would say, don't subscribe; but if they did, subscriptions would enable them to get rid of it.
The resolution having been carried unanimously, Mr. BARCLAY proposed a vote of thanks to the chairman. The CHAIRMAN acknowledged the compliment, and the meeting separated.-(Abridged from the Sussex Express.)
LANGUAGE OF INSECTS.-I have frequently observed two ants, meeting on their path across a gravel walk, one going from and the other returning to the nest. They will stop, touch each other's antennæ, and appear to hold a conversation; and I could almost fancy that one was communicating to the other the best place for foraging. This Dr. Franklin thought they have the power of doing, from the following circumstances: Upon discovering a number of ants regaling themselves with some treacle in one of his cupboards, he put them to the rout, and then suspended the pot of treacle by a string from the ceiling. He imagined he had put the whole army to flight, but was surprised to see a single ant quit the pot, climb up the string, cross the ceiling, and regain its nest. In less than half an hour several of his companions sallied forth, traversed the ceiling, and reached the depository, which they constantly re-visited until the whole of its contents were consumed.-Jesse's Gleanings in Natural History.
COMPOSITION OF FISH MANURE AND SOME SORTS OF ANIMAL REFUSE.
There can be no doubt that, if fish manure, of equally good quality, can be produced, a large demand for it will soon be created. It is, in fact, a very valuable manure, and its price may be estimated very readily, according to the mode employed for Peruvian guano, by taking the compro-mercial value of each of its important manurial constituents as derived from other sources. The values usually adopted by chemists have been at the rate of d. per lb. for phosphate, and 6d. per lb. for ammonia; or, expressed in tons, £6 for the former, and £56 per ton for the latter. Upon this plan, and taking all the phosphates under one category, we estimate the value of 100 tons of the fish manure as follows:
Although the importance of all sorts of animal matter as a manure has long been familiar, and has been frequently insisted on, both by science and practice, the immense quantity of such refuse has hitherto become very partially available. The main difficulty which has stood in the way of their profitable application has been the want of a good cess by which they can be converted into a portable form. The enormous quantities of fish refuse annually produced in Newfoundland, and even on some parts of our own coasts, has been frequently pointed out as a source from which agriculture might derive valuable assistance. Considerable interest was excited, some time since, by the proposal of various methods by which the desirable object of rendering fish offal portable might be attained, and very important results were anticipated from them. As yet, these anticipations have not been fulfilled, material difficulties having been encountered in carrying most of the processes into operation on the large scale, some of the plans proposed having proved too expensive in practice, while others are so obviously unpractical that no one has been found willing to invest capital in carrying them out. The error, in most cases, has lain in the employment of expensive machinery, which the conditions under which such a manufacture must be carried out may be said to preclude. It is probable that the quantity of fish offal to be obtained at any one spot will not generally be very large, and will be chiefly collected at one period of the year, so that the machinery would require to be sufficient to work up with rapidity the whole of the offal produced, and would lie idle during the rest of the year. It is in some such way that most of the plans have hitherto failed; but I have recently analyzed a sample made by a patent procees, which is said to be simple and inexpensive; and should the manufacture yield, on the large scale, a material of uniform quality, and equal to that I have examined, it will undoubtedly prove a very important addition to the list of ammoniacal manures. The manure was in the form of a yellowish powder, in grains about the size of fine oatmeal, remarkably uniform in appearance, very dry, and almost devoid of smell. Its composition was:—
13.68 of ammonia at £56
10.11 of phosphate of lime at £6
Value of 100 tons
or almost exactly £8 5s. per ton; and this will probably be its average value. At the present time, however, owing to the high price of bones and ammonia, its value would considerably exceed this. Sulphate of ammonia is now selling at £16 per ton, and at this price ammonia is worth £64, and phosphate of lime can scarcely be reckoned under £10 per ton, bones at present selling as high as £6, or even £6 10s. If these data be taken for calculation, the value of the fish manure comes to be
13.68 of ammonia at £64.
£766 . 60
Value of 100 tons
£975 or £9 15s. per ton. In connexion with this subject, it may be well to observe, that there are many sources of animal matter which must, at the present moment, be entirely wasted, although they might, with a little management, be turned to good account. Of these, perhaps, the most prominent is the blood, and other offal of slaughter-houses, in our small towns and villages. In the larger towns, the blood is collected, although not very carefully, and finds its way to certain classes of manufactories in which it is employed; but in country places it is, for the most part, allowed to escape. It would be a matter of some interest to ascertain the annual value of the blood and offal thus lost, which is undoubtedly very large, and a great part of which might easily be saved by a very small expenditure of care. Such, however, is the carelessness of the workmen employed in slaughter-houses, that I have been informed, that, even in the large towns, it is with difficulty that they can be persuaded to save the blood, although its price is really considerable. Fresh blood contains nitrogen, equal to about 3 per cent. of ammonia, and is worth about 2d. per gallon, or nearly £2 per ton; and any far