30 SEPTEMBER 1865, Page 1

Lord Robert Montagu, speaking on Wednesday to the Agricul- tural

Association of Huntingdon, declared that the State ought to pay half the value of all cattle lost through the uiurrain. Does lie mean that Government should pay for those which die, or for those which are killed in order to limit the area of infection ? If the latter, his suggestion is just. If the House of Commons is silly enough to order a grand destruction of beasts in order that other beasts may not be destroyed, the nation ought in all fairness to pay for its cruel folly. But if his Lordship means, as we fear he does, to advise compensation for losses not so ordered, he should enlarge his views. Why should not Government, i. e., the tax- payers, compensate the farmers for the rain which interfered with the harvest in September, and the ravages caused by rats when the corn is stacked, and the fall in price which may be produced by a good Russian harvest ? Indeed why stop there ? Why not compensate everybody for any loss arising from disease, or flood, or earthquake, or other unavoidable misfortune? Lord Robert says we fed the Lancashire people out of taxes. Just so, because in a Christian country danger to human life overrides all economic considerations. When the farmers are in danger of starvation the country will feed them too, but it can no more compensate them for the loss of their beasts than the bootmakers for the increased price of their leather.