6 OCTOBER 1917, Page 2

The farmers' agitation against the prices at which they are

to be compelled to sell their beasts has continued in various forms during the week. We must again express our sympathy with this move. ment, because we believe that on the whole—one can only generalize in such matters—the farmers are in the right. So far as we have been able to inform ourselves, they are certain to make a lose on beasts sold when the price has been compulsorily reduced by regular stages to 60s. a hundredweight. That prize will be reached in January. We ask ourselves whether it is wise for the Government to insist rigidly as a point of pride upon such a figure. Surely a broad and generous conception of policy requires that the farmer should be encouraged, even if necessary by artificial means. He must be instigated to go ahead to the best of his ability to make the nation secure in its food supplies.