26 AUGUST 1876, Page 3

The recent enormous rise in the price of silk, 200

per cent, in a year, has again called attention to its production. Mr. F. T. Neile writes to the Times that poor ladies might find a source of income in rearing silkworms, which flourish well in England, particularly if the grain is Australian. That is perfectly true, and we have ourselves seen splendid specimens of silk grown in England ; but Mr. Neile does not meet the real difficulty, which is the supply of mulberry-leaves. The tree takes so long to grow that it is now rarely planted, and a supply of leaves on any considerable scale cannot be obtained. If Mr. Neile can show that imported leaves are procurable and will do, or that any leaf is a good substitute for the mulberry, he may found a new trade ; but otherwise his experiment will fail, as it has failed a dozen times before. Some capitalist, residing in the South of England, should plant a few score thousand mulberry treed, for the benefit of his great-grandsons.