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Reconstruction in France

Nature volume 101, page 254 (30 May 1918) | Download Citation



THE issue of the Revue Scientifique for April 13 contains evidence that our French neighbours are discussing the problems of reconstruction on much the same lines as we are. In an article on agriculture in 1917, M. Albin Haller, president of the Académie d'Agriculture, deals with the present effects of the war on agriculture and the outlook after the war, particularly in regard to the supply of artificial manures. He points out that war conditions have led to a diversion of the supply of nitrogenous manures to the manufacture of explosives, and that after the war it will be necessary to make up for the lost fertility of the soil by State efforts in the direction of stimulating the home supply of nitrogenous fertilisers from such sources as the by-products of gas-and coke-making, or even from special plants devoted to nitrogen fixation. In regard to the latter, he rightly points out that the feasibility may depend upon the harnessing of the waterfalls of the country—a point that we might well take to heart when we consider the immense possibilities of the Highlands of Scotland in this direction. M. Haller also throws out suggestions in regard to the future supply of phosphatic fertilisers, again touching a problem which is engaging attention here. The fact that the State now controls the production of sulphuric acid, and that, owing to its command over Australian zinc “concentrates,” it may be able to market the acid as a waste product, inevitably suggests State enterprise in the future production of fertilisers as an adjunct to its food-production campaign.

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