11 DECEMBER 1880, Page 2

Mr. Clare Sewell Read on Monday made a speech to

the Farmers' Club, Holborn, in which he rather deprecated exces- sive fear of American competition. He denied that American wheat could be laid down in the Mersey under 40s. a quarter, and believed that even at that price the unmanured prairie-land would speedily be exhausted. If we could only tide over twenty years, he should have little fear of American wheat. As to barley, he doubted if a substitute would be found, for the Americans, who had no malt-tax, still used barley. He thought the farmers would have to imitate the Americans, who get up at five o'clock, prefer reading to hunting, have no leisured or idle class above them, and give little time to amuse- ment. All that implies that the farmer of the future shall be a man with 100 acres, who works himself like a bailiff, and leads a life of strict economy and anxiety. A man with large capital will not work thirteen hours a day and live a life of incessant care, in order to make seven per cent. It is curious to note the difference between a speech like Mr. Read's and a speech which would have been popular thirty years ago. The farmer is now talked to not as the "man who feeds England," but as a rather small tradesman who must be taught rigid economy.