Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, MARCH 31, 1919. TRUE CO-OPERATION.
It is) doubtful wisdom and misplaced energy to toil to uphold a truism, so we bluntly repeat what hus been declared so often and what nobody contradicts, thattown and country dwellers are inter-dependent; the greater the co-operation the more the mutual prosperity. Ignoring for the present what the town owes to the country—residents of a borough like Ashburton should need no reminding—country people are directly or indirectly indebted'to the townsmen to no inconsiderable degree, the latter, for instance, sharing the taxation necessitated by Government subsidies for solely ruraj purposes. We are not criticising these grants; indeed our complaint is that the Government does not do enough to help the small farmers and the men and women in the backblocks to overcome the disabilities of their distance from more setijed areas. Yet farmers hays their duties to the townsmen, the first being to do nothing to endanger the necessary food supplies of the citizens, and this is a duty that is occasionally in danger of being overlooked. An instance is found in the milk problem facing 'Ashburton housewives, nor would it be difficult to trace other examples of apparent indifference by farmers to the towns-
peoples-welfare. Farmers must accept the responsibilities of their profession, and not let personal convenience alone be the" guiding factor of their arrangements: Were they as a class tb choose the easiest path—as some dairyfarmers are alleged to be doing—without any thought of who suffers by their decisions, the spirit of co-operation between town and country would be grievously impaired, and verbal ammunition would be given to those who glibly prate of the "wool growing the sheep's back whilst the squatter is "asleep," but who forget that often sheep die and crops are spoilt, through no fault of the owner, whilst he is taking wellearned repose, and that the interest payments on mortgages have to be met, be the season good, bad, or indifferent. Fortunately, such ignorant critics of farmers have little influence, for the average townsman realises that the primary producer has to earn most of what he gets, and is willing to support his rural compatriots' reasonable requests. This desire to assist in getting a fair deal for farmers will be increased, or lessened, by the amount of reciprocity forthcoming.