Mr. Jesse Collings, who signed the General Report of the
Labour Commission, has added a series of observations on his own behalf, dealing with the condition of the English agri- cultural labourers. It has been shown, he says, that the "agricultural wage-earning class" decreased 20 per cent. between 1871 and 1891 ;—this decrease being concurrent with a great general increase in the population. This rash from the land has been proved to be due not to dislike of agriculture, but to the bad conditions of living in the rural districts,—low wages and miserable cottages. The erodes disorganises the whole labour market, and is ruining agricul- ture. Not enough men are employed on the land to do it justice. Cultivating owners is Mr. Collings's remedy. He also suggests State loans to landowners at low interest to provide the necessary buildings for small farms. He further proposes that the tenancy of a labourer's cottage shall not be legally terminated without three months' notice being given by either party or by mutual consent, and that the labourer shall be offered facilities to purchase his cottage if he so, desires.