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The Agricultural Commission.

' The work of the Agricultural Commisson (says the London “Spectator ) bids fair to be a n .aster affair. Authority is ulven in te-i Ovhti’. lussiou *.o any live or more ” of the Commission to call before ..them such persons as they may judge : nicessary to give evidence, and also to call -for.BXich books and documents as may give needful-information. Moreover, any five or more may report to the Queen as soon as they please their opinions on the subjects inquired into. And these bodies of five or more are to have power to continue their inquiry without formal adjournments. Hence it is clear that the Com- ~ mission is really to do its principal work as a number of sub-commissions, for we are told that they have already had a preliminary meeting and broken themuelves up into'smaller distinct bodies of inquiry; while Mr. 0. S. Read, M.P., and Mr. Pell, M.P., are to proceed to the United States, to enquire into the bearing of American agriculture on the depression here, and will take their departure at the end of next week. Further, Mr. Cross said at Bootle that there are to bo a number of Assistant-Commis sionevs to help the Commission, and to collect information from the Continent of Europe. We may expect, then, a num- * ber of very divergent reports from the quinary commiss.oulets into which the larger organisation will break up; and probably no joint report from the whole Commission, or none of any substantial value, at all. We see with pleasure that the Earl of Suffolk and Colonel Kingacote, hLP., the latter of whom is a member of the Commission, warned the Kingscote Agricultural Association lately that no return to protection was possible and that all that could be expected from the labors of the Commission was a large stock of valuable information.

A Horse Poisoned by Tea,

The “Veterinary Journal” records a welWmbstantiated case of a horse-poisoned by tea. The journal characterises it as cl unparalleled in the annals of veterinary or even human toxicology. ”. A staff cook, having left some pounds of tea in a sack, a Kaffir groom filled it with com, and serving out the contents to a troop of horses, gave Sir William Reresford’s charger the bulk of the tea,' which was eaten greedily, and produced the inost startling results. The animal plunged , and kicked, and ran backwards, at intervals galloping madly around, finally falling into a donga, where it lay, dancing its°head on the rocks, and was despatched by an assegai thrust through the heart. The post-mortem appearance indicated extreme cerebral congestion. The occurrence as an accident is probably unique. The phenomena exhibited were, however, characteristic of the action of caffeine—namely, cerebral excitement, with partial loss of sensibility, convulsions, and death. The sensory nerves are paralysed, without any corresponding paralysis of the motor nerves, *0 that the muscular action which proceeds from ideation and volition remains unaffected. The reversal of limb movements which produces running backwards in quadrupeds, tea com- - mon symptom of brain disturbance, frequently witnessed, for example, _in- The case of puppies with unclosed crania. The case is one of great interest, and may help to throw light on the action of tea, which has not been sufficiently studied, and most still be classed as unexplained.”

It is now stated that the “ potato bug,” which a year or two ago frightened our isle from its propriety, and was honoured with a special Act of Parliament, has its uses. The fresh powder of the insect yields, it is said, about one-and-a-third per cent, of pure cantharidin, which is a large product, so that it is Ukely to be used, as a cheap source of that drugHome paper.

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Bibliographic details

THE FARMER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 40, 27 December 1879

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THE FARMER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 40, 27 December 1879