Economic History of Europe in Modern Times

By Melvin M. Knight; Harry Elmer Barnes et al. | Go to book overview
holdings, as compared with France and Belgium, can be made. Great Britain's position in world trade and manufacturing evidently has much to do with it, but this item becomes less convincing when we include intensively industrialized Continental countries in the comparison than it would if we chose France alone. That the situation is not at all satisfactory is generally recognized. In spite of all that has been done to encourage small holdings and allotments, it cannot be said that any promising cure is in sight. The development of educational facilities for technical training is sorely needed, and a good deal could be done to foster rural credit institutions. As German writers often insisted before the war, it is possible that Great Britain's relatively swift rise to her dominant position in world trade, industry, and finance has been due in part to fortunate combinations of circumstances. Whatever the reasons, agriculture has paid a certain price for it. It would be rash to predict what kind of economic readjustment may take place with the growth of industry and commerce elsewhere, but if Great Britain's relative predominance should be affected, she might very well have to grow a larger percentage of her food supply instead of trading for it abroad. Wise measures could accomplish something in the meantime, but in the absence of any great economic pressure or any assured economic advantage, the results of attempts to force people onto the soil have not been particularly encouraging.
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING
Agricultural Tribunal: Report. (Parliamentary Paper, Cmd. 2145, 1924.)
* Agricultural Wages Board ( Great Britain): Committee on Occupation of Agricultural Land and Cost of Living of Rural Workers. ( 1919.)
Ashby A. W.: The Rural Problem.
Board of Agriculture and Fisheries ( Great Britain): Agricultural Research and the Farmer. ( 1922.)
Cadbury G., Jr.: The Land and the Landless.
Caird J.: The Landed Interest and the Supply of Food.
* Clapham J. H.: An Economic History of English Agriculture, chaps. rv, XI.
Collings J.: Land Reform: Occupying Ownership, Peasant Proprietary, and Rural Education.

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