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Landowners and the State


    LORD BLEDISLOE, as president of the Agricultural Section of the British Association at Hull this year, struck a new note in his address. Put very briefly, his text was a demand for more leadership, and in particular for educated leadership by landowners in the business of farming. British farming has for the last two centuries in the main been carried on by tenants possessed of considerable capital, which is employed in the business and not in the land itself nor in its permanent equipment. The result, at any rate until fifty years ago, was successful. Complicated as the question of tenure was in detail, by custom it worked well on the whole; a sufficiency of capital was attracted to the land to permit of cultivation on a comparatively large scale with sufficient continuity to encourage experiment and improvement, until British farming, whether as regards operations of cultivation, productivity of crops grown or quality of stock bred, stood easily foremost in the whole world.

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