6 APRIL 1934, Page 16

Rothamsted's Need On coming back to England I find that

Rothamsted and its continuity of research is under threat from what Carlyle used to call the " concrete mendacities " of the builder. Though Gilbert and Lawes, the founders of the place and the pioneers of scientific husbandry; to some extent endowed

their successors with land and equipment, a good part of the land under experiment is rented ; and this portion is to be sold for building unless Rothamsted can exercise its right to buy (at the price of £30,000). It will be a national, an imperial disaster, if the land cannot be saved for the con-

tinuation of its beneficent purposes. The place is worth preservation, merely from the point of view of the general

preservation of rural beauty. Where would you discover finer beeches or cedars ? Is there any Elizabethan building more eloquent of its date than the lovely house threatened in its outlook by the coming sale ? The sum of £30,000 which will save the place is an agreed price and is not high. The money should repay itself almost at once in what may be called invisible dividends—in benefits to farmers all over the world, and indeed in national reputation. The letters of this Codex are not confined to a museum, but written on the face of the fields. One must hope, and indeed expect, that the Director (Rothamsted, Herts.) will be snowed under with contributions, great and small.