6 APRIL 1934, Page 16

A Communal Farm

As I wrote above, a good deal of the inspiration for the new development of agriculture in Palestine has come from Rothamsted, where most of the organizers have spent some time in research work. The crop of the country is the orange and the grape-fruit, but the two big settlements that I saw near Tiberias grow chiefly what we grow in Britain. Personally I much preferred the group of individual holdings arranged in a huge ellipse with the farms outside and the things of general concern inside ; but the communal farms claim one great advantage. Each department=poultry, stock, dairy, vegetables or what not—has a head and a constant staff, with the result that every man in the group becomes a specialist, and each department is worked by specialists. The high education of many of these immigrants enables them to turn more readily to the land than in other circumstances. Their urban or alien experience is really very little handicap indeed. In one respect the individual as well as the communal groups are superior to ours, for instance, to the fine groups established by Government at Holbeach and Sutton Bridge. Full arrangements are made for co-operative marketing. The omission of such organiza- tion was the chief mistake made when our ex-Service men were set up on the land.