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    Abstract

    THE annual report of the Development Commissioners which has recently been issued is, as usual, extremely well documented. It contains Inter alia. detailed notes on the work of each of the institutions in receipt of grants for agricultural research and the closely allied “advisory” work. Full details are also furnished regarding the other than purely agricultural agencies, such as the Fishery Department, Rural Economy (as represented by the Rural Industries Bureau), and the Construction and Improvement of Harbours. The introductory portion of the report is devoted to a discussion of the question how far the expenditure by the State of a sum approaching half a million sterling annually is justified by the material progress made in the arts of husbandry. While it is true that “agriculture now requires as much aid as can be got by it from modern science,”it is perhaps disappointing to observe that the Commissioners do not stress what, for want of a better epithet, may be termed the spiritual value to agriculture of education and research. If one reflects that the industry is predominatingly one which is dominated by tradition, it is surely no mean feat to have made some progress—to which the labours of the Commissioners have largely contributed—in convincing the agriculturist that the scientific method and the scientific spirit stand for progress, and that all knowledge is not crystallised in the experience of our forerunners. There is little need to deplore the “slow result being secured in the improvement of agriculture” if the Commissioners are satisfied that, with the aid of the advances made by them, —new scientific discoveries new knowledge of truth—have been achieved.

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