Hawke's Bay Herald. TUESDAY, AUGUST 12, 1890. AMERICA AND FOOD PRODUCTION.
In his notes on "Practical Science" in yesterday's issue our contributor " 111,1' 1 referred to the enormous increase In the population of the United States. A century ago the lirst census showed a population of 3,929,214. In Jane last another census was taken, and the population is stated at 67,240,000. At the same rate of progression, in another century the population will be 1,200,000,000, or denser than that of Great Britain at the present time. The States must then be large importers, instead of exporters, of food products. But long before that they will cease to be competitors in European markets. Some authorities think that that day is very close at hand. Mr Wood Davis, in an article in the Forum, says it will come within ten years, if not within five. He calculates that it requires three acres and a quarter per head to produce the agricultural products consumed at home. During the last fourteen years so much land has been brought under cultivation that the aver, age per head rose to 3$ acres in ISS4, and it was the crops of the surplus quarter-acre which flooded the home nnd foreigu markets. In 1888, however, this average per head had fallen from 3*51 to 336, and the process thus begun will prcoeed till in 1894 there will only be three acres per head, owing to the natural increase of the population. If the American people con. tinue to require the product of 3_\ acres each, they will havo to make an annual addition of 6,000,000 acres at least to keep pace with tho natural increment of population. For years past the annuo J additions have been less than 3,000,000 of acres. So far as wheat is concerned, the annual production is already falling off. In 1875 the wheat acreage was 26,000,000 (in round numbers) ; in 18S0 it was 38,000,0C0 ; in 1884 it rose to 39,500,000 ; but iv ISS9 it fell again to 35,000,000. «' Wheat growing," Mr Davis says, "has evidently reached and passed its limit, and exportation will grow less and less nntil dsmestic requirements shall absorb our entire product of this cereal." He goes on to say, "If the computation of the area required -per capita be correct, and if the Department of Agriculture has not underestimated the area employed in growing the staple crops, domestic consumption will absorb the entire product of cereals, potatoes, and hay within five years from January, 1890, and thereafter agricultural exports will consist almost wholly of tobacco, cotton, and animal products, the volume of which will shrink as constantly, if not in the samo degree, as home con. sumption increases. An equalisation of the supply of the various staples will readily follow from the application of corn and wheat fields to the growth of such products as may, from time to time, be in most urgent demand. Meantime, prices will steadily advance. To moat people it would probably appear absurd to suggest tliat well within ten years it may be found necessary to import large quantities of wheat to feed the ever-increasing population ; but such will be the logical sequence of the necessity of employing wheat fields in the growth of other staples, and of the exhaustion qf the material from which farms are developed. Assuming the substantial correctness of the estimates of area by the Department of Agriculture, and that home requirements will be such as to employ 315 acres per capita, the answer to the question, When will the farmer be prosperous? resolves Itself into a simple calculation." In 1894 the population of the States will be 72,000,000, and tlje &rea in crops to supply home requirements njust be 2-6, 800,000 acres. At preßenb tl>e total under cultivation is 211 000,000 acres, and if the annual fncreq.se s only 3,000,000 acros, in four years there will be an "acreage deficit" of 3.SQQ.OQO acrea. " Doc« »ot the evjdence adduced Bhow that before th(a decade ia half spent,'' conclude*! Mr Davis, '» all thp products of the farm will bo required at good prices, that lands will appreciate greatly in value, and that the Amorloan farmer will enter upon an era of prosperity, the unlimited continuance of which is assured by the exhaustion of the arable areas ? "
Mr Davis confines himself to the American fwnet's Flew of the prospect. But }f liis conclusions ape qojrect, the farmers of the world will bo affected. For it is nofc only ia the United States that the population is growing. Of course higher prices will encourage tbe tilljng of a larger area, and production will be stimulated, but with the competition of the States removed, prices are bound to rise. Mr Davis's article has attracted no little attention, and Mr Stead, in the lieview of Reviews, pronounces it to be " quite the most important from an economic point of view of auy in the periodicals of the month." Characteristically, Mr Stead does not confine himself to the mere statistical or economic aspect of the question, but looks for far-reaching consequences in the settlement of great political problems. He says, "The real economic question which underlies Irish agitatiou is the fall iv the value of land caused by the excessive competition of American produce. Whether or not Irish land legislation succeeds depends entirely
upon whether or not the value of Iti-:h land has touched bottom. As long as tbe American farmer can put his beef in the English market at a lower figure per pound than tho Irish farmer can prodnee it, there is no hope of any tranquility in Ireland. But the moment American produce rises in value, that moment the
tide will begin to turn. The present lull in Ireland is much more due to the prices of meat in the Chicago market than to all the legislation of the Imperial Parliament. But it is not only in Ireland that American competition hits revolutionised the conditions of agiiculture. There is probably not a county in England in which tliere are not farms idle at this moment and landlords at the brink of ruin because of the impossibility of producing meat and wheat at paying prices, in face of the cheap produce of the American prairie." Mr Stead might have extended his view over the whole world. . The farmers of Australasia, the ryots of India, and the emancipated serfs in Russia, will all feel, though not perhaps in an equal degree, the cessation of American competition in the food markets of Europe. It remains to be seen how
far higher prices will cause increased production in the States, a factor which Mr Davis does not, in our opinion, take sufficiently into account. There is no questioning this, however — that though Mr Davis may be wrong in the date he assigns for the home consumption of the States to exceed the demand, his conclusions must come true withia a measureable distance of time.
On the fourth page will be fonnd nn article entitled " The Latest Yankee ' Parable.' "
There was a race at the rink last night for an inkstand, the contest being won by Johnston.
A school teacher at Foxton, named Herbert Woodham, . has applied for a patent for a syphou arrangement to milk cows automatically.
Mr Snelling, the cabman who met with an accident on Saturday night, is now quite conscious at the hospital, and it is anticipated that he will recover.
The last number of the Government Gazette contains a notification of the appointment of Lieutenant Arnold Charles Lewis, unattached active Hat, to be Lieutenant of the Hastings Rifles.
A meeting of St. John's Temperance Band will be held in the schoolroom this evening, when a treat tor the children will be provided in the shape of magic lantern picturea exhibited by Mr Saunders.
A correspondent a short time back was anxious to know when the Napier Holiday Association was likely to meet. We can now satisfy hira by stating that there will be a meeting of the association to-morrow afternoon.
The production of " Kip Van Winkle " has been postponed until the end oi September or beginning of October, owing to " Rip " having been called to Wellington to give evidence before a Government commission. Rehearsals will proceed as usual, and the delay will probably prove of ultimate advantage.
The Taranaki football team will play a match at Gisborne on Saturday next, at the suggestion of the honorary secretary of the Hawke's Bay Rugby Union. Ihe Gisborne footballers played a trial niatch on Saturday, the day upon which it was stated that they could not raise v team to uieet Hawke's Bay.
Mr Sutton stated at the meeting of the Clive iioad Board yesterday that no reporters were present at the hearing of the Supreme Court case Guy v. the CUve Road Board. Mr Sutton is very much in error. A HERALD reporter was present, and the Herald gave to the cose all the prominence required.
It is an acknowledged fact in London tbat it is difficult, if not impossible, to tell the difference between a prime New Zealand leg of mutton and that cut from an ordinary English sheep, and of thia the butchers take jutvantage, for one seldom costs more than Od per lb wholesale, while for the other they would have to pay Sd per lb.
The drawing for the art union prizes in connection with the Napier Poultry and Canary Association's show took place in the Protestant Hall last eveniug, in the presence of a large number of ticket holders. A committee of six gentlemen was appointed from among those present, and superintended the drawing. The principal prize, a very handsome suite of furniture, was won by Master A. Pirie, a youth who was the fortunate winner of the second prize in last year's art union.
Mr Tankard yesterday received a post office order for £7 7a from the Gisborne Garrison Band, the proceeds of a concert held at Gisborne in aid of the Balaclava fund. Mr Tankard handed over the money to the treasurer of the local fund, who will arrange to aend the casii Home with that raised at Napier, but as a Gisborne contribution. f All the money will be sent free of cosffr one of the banks having undertaken to do so.
The meeting of the Rugby Union at 7 o'clock this evening will be the most important held by the union thia season, as in addition to the appointment ot an honorary secretary and treasurer a great variety of mattera will come up for decision. All delegates should therefore make a point of attending. All who have representative jerseys are requested to return them at onoe, either to tne Masonic or Criterion hotels, in order that they may be got ready for the Taranaki match.
The many tnenda of Mr Keith Wilson, formerly of th» telegraph department, and well known in amateur dramatic circles, w.ll be pleased to hear that he is " rolling on the tide that leads to fortune," for he has received the lucrative appointment of manager to the Australian Accident Insurance Company in Brisbane. Mr Wilson's energy has brought him to the fore, for he had bean ouly six months ii the employ of the company when he received tne valuable appointment mentioned.
An incident which oceut-i-ed in Christchurch recently conveys an idea of the hold the labor organisation movement has in the colony. It is stated that the compositors on the Lyttelton Times refused point blank to " set up " an advertisement which Messrs \V hitcombe and Tombs had sent in for insertion, and that it was only upon the appeal of the manager (who pointed out that such a course as was pro poged to be takeu might have a bad ellect on the movement) that the "chapel" consented to put the advertisement in type.
The fortnightly meeting of the St. Paul's Mutual Improvement Association was held yesterday evening in the schoolroom. There was a large attendance, Mr J. H. Todd being in the chair. The business of the meeting was " short speeches." Speeches were delivered on "Trade Uniona," "The Sweating System," "Letter Writing," "The Stage," and " Imitation." Some of these Bubject3 caused much spirited discussion. The subject for the next meeting was announced to te a lecture by MrR. Lamb on " The Age of Humiliation, or England after the Restoration."
A most successful dress rehearsal of " Blow for 810-, v " was l)eld in the Theatre Royal last night, nnd judging from the manner in which the various performers acquitted themselves, a most enjoyable performance should he given this evening. The 3tage accessories have received due attention, and the drama will be pioduced in a most complete manner. Aa the cast is probably the strongest ever presented by an amateur organisation iv tlie town, the performance should vio with many professional companies who have visited us, and we conlidently expect t.o sco a large audience when the curtain rises.
The Gisborne Standard says that Mr Piesse has received a letter from the head office of the South Pacific Petroleum Company, conveying the following resolutions passed at the meeting of the Sydney shareholdera on July 17th ;— That considering the withdrawal of the larger shareholders and the small response made to the last calls, it Js not possible tor the Company to continue to meet its liabilities, and tbat it be therefore wound up, subject to the concurrence of the meetings of Gisborne and Chrlstohuroli shareholders beld this day j that the directors of the Company be empowered to appoint a liquidator to deal with the Company's estate.
The position of the Hutchison charges ia getting more deiinetl every day. The inquiry has passed from a Parliamentary cofiimlttge to tho flat.sard nailery. There is a gqocl deal of liaridyinft of words about a "proof," tU'e' ; general effect of which is that the Government representative, Mj- ifislori, who is conducting hja case with the fqrcq Qf n Trojan and (.he instinct of a bloodhound, appears io be pressing Mr Hutohison very hard, while Mr Hutchison is always umking explanations of one kind or another. The tables, in fact, are turned, tho attack has beoome the defence, and very hard beset ib is. Why confine the present line of inquiry to the proofs ? The reporter's manuscripts are to be had. They must be produced. It will bo seen at a glance if there has been aay material alteration. If there has been any material alteration, can anyone be got to sustain the reporter's written version of his' opinion of the words used by Mr Hutchison ? If so, then the caso will, it is said, be' clear enough. What a member says ip tbe House is privileged. What he says afterwards on a manuscript or " proof" report, is not privileged, because he did not sayit iv tbo fitouee, A proaepiition will
settle the matter in a very short time. The first step is to produce that manuscript. This is apparently the line the Govornment is taking. Procedure bafore a Judicial Commission* -would b« better, as avoiding the obvious difficulties of the other course.— N.Z, Times.
• The following is from the Paris Figaro : — a.d. 1900. Electrocutioner, very politely to condemned man, as he points to the electric seat upon which he is presently to expiate his crimes — "Pray be seated." The other, with twentieth-century refinement—" After you I "
The London correspondent of the Liverpool Post tells an anecdote which Sir Wilfrhl Lawson retains for private consumption. A short time ogo Sir Wilfrid Lawson, visiting at the house of a friend, made the acquaintance of a bright little boy, some ten years of age, with whom the genial baronet talked and romped. After a while he said, " Well, my boy, we have been great friends, bnt it's odd we were never introduced. I don't know what your name is, and 1 am sure you have not the slightest idea who I am." '* Oh yes," said the small boy, " I know veiy well. Yon are the celebrated drunkard."
Mr John A. Gardner, a real estate agent, is named by the Industrial World an the author of an invention for which he claims au absolute revolution ia traction power. The machine is abont 50ft in length, weighs nearly 15 tons, and runs on a track which it lays for itself, the same being a belt of steel plates or laths 4Jft long, enclosing four large cog wheels, which play into the sockets of the plates and urge the machine forward. It is available for agricultural and_ other purposes, Mr Gardner declaring in respect to the former, that with it he can plough 100 acres per day in ground too soft for a horse to walk, and at a nominal cost. Tn addition to this it can be applied to thrashing, ditching, handling, railroad construction, derrick work in biidge building, and for many other uses. Mr Gardner is said to have been engaged upon his invention for fourteen years, and believes that he has it so perfected that it can be utilised with profit on large Western farms and elsewhere. A successful test of the machine was made opposite the Hercules Iron Works, on Clinton-street, aud its merits made the subject of comment by experts.
Notes and Queries is discussing Mr Thackeray's broken nose. Sir William Fraser wri' 3s : — I have always believed that Thackeray's nose was broken in a fight at Charterhouse by Venables, Q.C., lately deceased. Unless I am mistaken, this was told me by the persou who introduced me to Thackeray. Mr "Venables was a member of the Society of Dilettanti, and I often sat next to him. On at least one occasion I alluded to the fact, and he certainly did not deny it. However, this may not have been the case. My informant added that the "Dame, as wa called them at Eton, ran up and said to Venables, " You have spoilt tho best - looking boy in the school I " A perhaps more veracious anecdote is contributed by " F. J. P.," who writes from Boston, U.S.A. : — When Thackeray was in America he dined one day with Mr X., a distinguished literary man of this city, whose nose made a good second to Thackeray's. The ladies had left the room aud the two gentlemen were
sitting over their wine, when K. proposed
that they should join the ladies, upon which Thackeray asked, " What do the ladies care for two broken-noaed old fellows like us?" It is said that K. had no regard for Thackeray thereafter.
Have any of the many readers of Babyhood,; writes a correspondent of that journal, a child of the following type ? — I have an energetic, active boy of nearly five years, who is constantly gettins iuto mischief. When punished for his misdemeanors he makes the best of a bad bargain, and would give you the impression that it is what he_ would prefer. For instance, put him iv a chair to retlect upon his beliaviovir, and he will compose himself and go to sleep ; put him to bed in the daytime, and leave him alone, aud he will amuse himself by telling himself stories ; deny him some coveted pleasure or some anticipated good time, and he philosophically says, " Never mind, perhaps I can do it some other time" ; keep him in the house and let his brother go out, and he says, " There are lots of times when I can go out and E. has to stay in." Tie him out of doors because he runs away, and he does not mind the other children laughing at him ; send him from the table at meals, and he says, "Oh, well ! I had Ticient." Shut him up in a closet, you will hear him guessing what else there is in it besides himself ; he wiil smile sweetly when yon open the door and say, " I knew you would let me out." Everything fails of its purpose because it is not a punishment in the strict sense ot the word, and makes no impression. Is there really anything that can be done with a child like that ? He is unusually mischievous, on account of his exuberanco of spirits, and is constantly doing something which calls ont a ' l Don't," I should like to hear anyone else's experience with a child of that description. One wonld suppose that a novelist would find it quite safe to use the word " Dives." Mr Walter Besant, however, has realised that that word, as a proper name, has a representative, who appropriately resides in a gold region. In " The Doubts of Dives " there also occurs a still more singular coincidence. One of the characters is "Mr Ptnder," an old dramatic critic ; and Mr Dives, of Johannesburg, who bought the book because of its title, had witu him a friend named Pindar, who had beeu a dramatic critic, and, he says, "in many other poiuts exactly resembled the oharacter in tlie story." Mr Dives (says the Daily News) thought it worth while to bring these curious facts to the knowledge of Mr Besant, who replied ns follows : — " 12, Gayton-crescent, Hampstead, March 15, 1890. — Dear Sir,— l am very much amused by your letter of February 14. In using the name of Dives I used the Latin word which has always been applied to the rich man in the parable. Your own name is, I have no doubt, a form of the old name D'lves. Yon ate quite light in supposing that my late partner came from Northampton. I have never been to that town, and I am quite unaware of yonr name being found tliere. The coincidence of you finding the nams ot your friend as well ns your own name in that little story, and
that he was formerly a dramatic critic, is
most extraordinary. I note it down as one of the curious coincidences that are always happening. I hope that you and Mr Pindar, too, will very soon 'eel xome of the burden of the wealth which so much oppressed Dives in tlie story, and I remain, sir, yours, <S:c., Walter BeSjVNT."
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