22 FEBRUARY 1952, Page 18

The Vanishing Farm Horse

SIR,—It is not only the horse that is vanishing. Even if we had the horses, there is hardly any harness in the country; leather is practically unobtainable and the price prohibitive. Even if we had the leather there are only a few middle-aged or old men capable of making a set of harness. As the old village blacksmiths die, their forges shut up; young men hardly ever become blacksmiths, and, if they do, they do not take up shoeing, as there is little demand for it. Wheel-wrights are practically extinct. And whereas anyone can learn to drive a tractor well enough at a pinch in a few hours, it takes years to become efficient in any of the afore-mentioned crafts.

We may as well face it. If an enemy can cut off our supplies of fuel- oil we shall lie starved into submission in a few weeks.—Yours