1 OCTOBER 1881, Page 3

Earl Spencer on Tuesday delivered a speech of some import-

ance to the Northamptonshire Agricultural Society on agricul- ture. He maintained that the first want of the farmers was fine weather, the cycle of wet not only having caused serious losses, but "having almost broken up the old system of drain- age," which requires to be renewed. He warned them that it was useless to expect Protective duties, for those who had to think for the interests of the whole kingdom would never consent to make bread dearer in the cities. "It is an impossibility." Nor would they consent to abolish the importation of live animals, even though that importation was followed by an occasional burst of disease. They could only regulate the im- port, though he was happy to say that he hoped the country would, within a very few weeks, show a clean bill of health. He called on the landlords to assist the tenants ; and with regard to Land Bills, "what he thought they did want in this country was that every possible encouragement should be given to tenant-farmers to carry out improvements, and when they did improve their farms, they should be liberally and justly dealt with by their landlords. To carry out such a line of policy as that would be of the greatest possible importance, and Par- liament, no doubt, would have to turn its attention to the sub- ject." That points, it is believed, to a stronger and a compulsory Agricultural Holdings Act.