13 FEBRUARY 1909, Page 14



SIR.—The statement made by Mr. Stephen Gwynn in your last issue that not more than ten per cent. of Colonel verard's tillage-land is under tobacco does not in any sense Justify his claim to correct me on a point of fact ; indeed, it "olds the issue. No mere guess as to the proportion of tillage-land at Randalstown under tobacco at the present time affects my correction of Mr. Gwynn's omission in the slightest degree. To do so it would be necessary to prove :—(1) That Colonel Everard had no land under tillage when lie commenced to cultivate tobacco. (2) That tobacco is not grown upon the newly broken ground. (3) That tobacco is grown year after year upon the same ground. (4) That other branches of husbandry are not consequential upon the cultivation of tobacco. I may add that on the occasion of my visit Colonel Everard also told me that he employed some seventy persons in the culture, curing, and handling of the tobacco. Since then I believe be has materially increased the area under cultivation, and it does not require expert knowledge to arrive at some idea of the relative importance, from the point of view of employment, of tobacco culture as compared with general husbandry at Randalstown even if only ten per cent. of the tillage is under tobacco at a given time.—I am, Sir, &e.,