20 JANUARY 1950, Page 18

A Banned Crop

One farm crop, we are told, is to be much diminished in 1950; and the ban will put an end to a quaint little practice. Owing to the comparative absence of beef, pork and certain cheeses, mustard, their general accompaniment, has accumulated ; and any addition to this mountain of mustard is strongly deprecated. "Devilled bones," that favourite resource of eighteenth-century gourmets, are no more provided. Now at one time two or three representatives of the purveyors of mustard used to meet at a particular date in a small room in a Cambridgeshire tavern, and when they left fix a scrap of paper to the door saying that mustard would be such and such a price this year. That was that. The price was fixed (often just a little higher than wheat) at a rate that should induce East Anglian farmers to grow just enough and not too much ; and normally the system worked well. The bees will be disappointed as well as some farmers.