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might take some time. One of the two lots consisted chiefly of men working for me, the other chiefly of men working for farmers.

Both lots heartily thanked me, and then one or two spokesmen on behalf of each lot said they knew that allotments were a great benefit where there were not good gardens to the cottages, as was the case with many in the little market town near; but that with regular work they found a garden of about a quarter of an acre close to the cottage as much as they could do justice to, and they would rather not have more; but those who worked for the farmers wished to continue having a piece of ground given them in the field by the farmer that each worked for, to grow potatoes. I said I should never think of interfering with any voluntary arrangement of the sort. All seemed thoroughly to concur in what had been said and to be pleased with their interview. I have not since the passing of the Allotment Act thought it necessary to call them together again after such a decided expression of their opinion on the subject, but from what I have seen and heard I have every reason to believe that opinion to be unchanged.

I may just mention that at Tattershall I well remember entering the allotment field with my father years before his death, and our both remarking its exceptionally foul condition; and, moreover, our noticing some men and horses ploughing up potatoes in an allotment. I further remember our being told that the labourers then did not care about their allotments, which were not long afterwards done away with. But whether they were given up, or whether my father took them away in disgust, I cannot after the lapse of between thirty and forty years recollect. In the course of this winter, however, my agent and I have had applications for allotments to be provided from labourers in Tattershall, Thorpe, and Kirkby, and I am now making arrangements to provide some for each village.

At Ebrington the allotments of about a quarter of an acre each have been from the first, for more than forty years, much appreciated and generally very well managed, and they continue to be so till this day. I received several weeks since, as Lord Harrowby, who owns almost all the rest of the parish, had previously, a request from the labourers there for additional land for allotments, which my eldest son went down lately to inquire about for me. Lord Harrowby had given some additional land in 1886, and has just given more, for allotments near the village of Ebrington.

My son met more than forty men in the school-room there early in December, and this is what they urged in support of their application for double, triple, and even in some cases quadruple, the amount of allotment ground each now had. They said there was hardly enough work for them, and there was no prospect of additional employment there for themselves and their sons growing and already grown up; it was no use their going away to seek work, for they knew it was the same everywhere; and they would only be adding to the unemployed wherever they went if they left the comfortable cottages they had, which they were loth to do. And here I must observe that the cottages both on the Harrowby estate and mine there have been for a great many years in a very satisfactory state. The men said their existing allotments were a great boon, and those added by Lord Harrowby had been of great value to them in these bad times, and if they got rather more they would feel more confident about the future; for their crops would go a long way in supporting their families, and though they could not all get quite regular work, yet they could earn enough in the summer to pay their rents. The price of produce would hardly affect them, as they would consume all they grew, and they all had pigs. They justly added, no one could say their existing allotments were not well cultivated, both my old ones and Lord Harrowby's recent additional ones.

After full consideration and consultation, my cousin and I have arranged that my cottagers and his shall equally have the benefit of his newest allotments near the village of Ebrington, and that his, as well as mine, shall have the benefit of those I am going to give at Hidcote, a village which we also practically own between us, but near which I can far more conveniently spare some land than he can for this purpose.

I have thought it worth while to state this case and that in North Devon pretty fully, because, while the feeling expressed by the labourers about the landowners was equally friendly in both, their wishes and views about allotments were so very

different. As to the general question, I myself believe that the view stated to me by my Devonshire cottagers in September 1886, and I feel confident still held by them, is the sounder one.

Though I have complied, as mentioned above, with the recent requests for additional allotment ground, I do so rather as a palliative during what, from the indications of gradually reviving trade, I hope may fairly be considered a transitional period of temporary pressure, than as a permanent arrangement. The general application of la petite culture to agriculture in England has been mostly advocated by writers, who, as far as I have seen, appear to have drawn their arguments and illustrations much more from books than from any personal knowledge or experience of farming. The greater economy in production resulting from the use of organised labour and of implements, and even simple machinery, utterly out of the question for farms with acres numbered by units, not by scores, or fifties, much less by hundreds, irrespective of the cost of indefinitely multiplied buildings, ought to have been clear to men with any acquaintance with political economy and the elementary truths about the advantage of the division of labour. In dairy farming, however, especially where the tenant and his family do the work of the farm, the detailed personal knowledge and loving care of each animal, tending to keep each in the best health and to obtain from each the best yield of milk, often more than compensates for the greater economy in many ways resulting from the management of larger, as compared with smaller, concerns. I should perhaps except indeed some cases, where the scale is sufficiently large to afford adequate remuneration for really superior ability and technical knowledge, as well as for the use of the most improved but costly machinery and appliances.

The depressed condition of many of the small peasant landowners, not less than tenants, on the Continent even under a highly protective tariff, and the diminished demand stated to prevail especially in France for small freeholds, seem to indicate that the always too rosecoloured pictures of la petite culture to be found in the writings of its advocates previous to the demonetisation of silver and low prices, now pourtray less faithfully than ever the working and results of that system, with the exception of vine-growing on the Continent, of market gardening with either easy access to good markets or specially favourable climate, and, to a certain extent, dairying.

Unless the apparently undeniable revival of trade and manufactures attains such proportions as to provide employment for the many hands now rendered superfluous for agricultural work, we must, I believe, look to increased emigration and a further diminution beyond that observable of late in the number of marriages, as the remedies for the pressure of our somewhat redundant agricultural population. But we must not look to such nostrums as the permanent multiplication of overgrown allotments or infinitesimal farms, much less to the reclamation of waste lands, when so many of the


tracts already reclaimed can no longer be profitably cultivated as they used to be.

The steady progress of temperance and its natural concomitant thrift in the population must, notwithstanding bad times, gradually increase the capital, which is the wage-fund, of the country. We may, therefore, reasonably look forward to its profitable investment in giving employment of some kind within the United Kingdom, when the distrust felt by the different interests more or less injured, or actually threatened or constantly expecting to be so, by the late Prime Minister, has been gradually superseded by increased confidence in a more prudent and reasonable administration, though under a Conservative, and not, as I, a life-long Liberal, should have preferred, under a moderate Liberal-Unionist Premier.



WHILE we were recently in Canada we found there were four questions which were agitating people's minds there, viz., the question of the Canadian Pacific Railway, of the French population in the province of Quebec or Lower Canada, of the Canadian Fisheries, and of commercial union with the United States.

It seems strange to us in England that the C.P.R. (as it is familiarly called) should arouse any opposition; the line is so obviously a great Imperial advantage that minor difficulties connected with it disappear; but difficulties have a trick of getting larger as you approach them, and there are not a few Canadians who complain that the country is burdened with a large and unnecessary debt on behalf of a premature extension of railway communication. They say it will be years before the line can pay its way along its whole length, and that instead of increasing an already excessive mileage of railway in proportion to the population, it would have been wiser policy to wait till the population had grown, and the railway was required for local wants. Of course the answer to this is, that nothing opens up a new country so effectually as railroad communication, that already many settlers have been attracted to the hitherto unexplored North-West, and that a regular tide of tourist travel is setting in, thus securing for Canada much lucrative traffic which would otherwise have passed through the United States.

But the objections raised towards the twenty years' monopoly granted by the Government to the C.P.R. Company are more serious, or at least more noisy, and the matter has been hotly disputed in Manitoba, where the local legislature authorised a line to be made from Winnipeg direct to the United States, in defiance of the decree of the Dominion Parliament. As so often happens, the point that came before the Courts was not the really important one-whether the authorities at Ottawa had power to prevent the formation of a line of railway in the Territory of Manitoba, but a more technical and much smaller matter-viz. whether the Manitoban Parliament had the right to use land, which was the property of the C.P.R. and of the Dominion Government, for the purpose of building the railway. Whatever opinions may be as to the larger question, on this minor point the Manitobans were undoubtedly in the wrong, and the decision in the court of law at Winnipeg was given against them.

There is no real fear, however, of the Manitoban question developing into anything alarming. Canadian newspapers seem to vie with those published in the States in the matter of abuse of public men and of any measures which do not emanate from the party they affect, and the press in consequence has adopted on this particular question a tone very different from that habitually used in conversation. In short, the friends of the C.P.R. are far more strong, numerous, and wealthy than its enemies, and it is likely to go on and prosper. Scotch blood and Scotch thrift are here, as elsewhere in Canada, the principal supporters and managers of the concern, and only those who have travelled along the line can have any idea of the vast faith and energy which have been required to bring it to a successful completion. The length of the whole line, the uninhabited bushland and prairie, the engineering difficulties of the Lake Superior section, and again of that wonderful portion of the railway which crosses five successive ranges of mountains between the prairies and the Pacific coast, the distance from a base of supplies, and yet the extraordinarily good food provided, either in dining-cars or in the Company's railway hotels, the perfect punctuality of the train through the 2,906 miles of its course, and last, but not least, the glorious views it provides of glacier and snow-peak, pine forest and deep cañon, never seen by civilised eye before the construction of the line, combine to impress the most indifferent tourist with a deep sense of the wonderful skill, patience, and determination shown by a few brave men without whom the grand design would have failed.

The connection with China and India, and consequent influx of trade, besides the military advantages of an 'Empire route to the East, have been often insisted on, and their importance can hardly be exaggerated.

It is also a boast of the Canadians that the C.P.R. is the only railway constructed and worked by a single company, which extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In the States there is more than one way of reaching the Pacific coast, but every one of these routes involves two or three changes between New York and San Francisco, whereas you may secure your sleeping-berth at Montreal, and retain it till you arrive at Vancouver nearly six days later.

The second burning question in Eastern Canada is that of the French Canadians. It is curious that while in France itself population is notoriously at a standstill, or even declining, in Lower Canada it is advancing by leaps and bounds. Families of twelve and fourteen children are not uncommon, and the English are literally being gradually squeezed out. The members of the local Parliament are almost entirely French; the speeches are made in French; official notices are published in French-usually, but not always, with an English translation. In the streets of Quebec a policeman could not understand a question asked in English, much less

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