6 SEPTEMBER 1946, Page 14

Family Farmers Some altogether astounding figures have been published recently

in the Ministry of Agriculture's magazine, Agriculture, and the most striking concern such "family farms" as our theoretical specialists have .decidefzi to damn. One description of a 504-acre farm concludes thus: "Gross income is made up of Lfoo from poultry, D,500 from milk, k500 from potatoes, a total with oddments of L3,000. This represents about k600 a worker and 29 an acre—both very high figures." The farm is in Ulster, where the immense proportion of 95 per cent, of the land is owner-occupied. In face of figurei such as these it is absurd, it is false to argue that very large, very highly mechanised farms, owned or controlled by the Government, are necessary to ensure a good wage and a decent life. To wipe out the yeoman class for the sake of multiplying harvester- threshers seems to many countrymen as crude a form of national suicide as could well be devised.