Farmers Meeting at Conisborough – War Time Problems

February 1915

Mexborough and Swinton Times February 13

Farmers Meeting at Conisborough
The Need for Unity
War Time Problems

A well attended meeting under the auspices of the Doncaster branch of the Yorkshire Farmers Union was held at the Fox Inn Conisborough on Tuesday night. Councillor W Appleyard presiding.

The Chairman said there were several important questions affecting agriculture before the country at the present time. The Government were asking farmers, through the Union, to do their best in the direction of growing food during the war. It was going to be a difficult problem, owing to the difficulty of transport and the shortage of labour. Some steps will have to be taken, and he was glad to say that meetings already taken place between officials of the Labour Exchange and the Farmers Union. He hoped some way of dealing effectively with the problem will be found.

Mr Hinchcliffe (Doncaster) spoke of what the Union had done for the farmers in the past, and would be prepared to do in the future. Financially and numerically, the Union had been very successful., Considering that the moment was only in its infancy.

Continuing, he went on to speak of the everlasting problems of compensation for tuberculosis cattle, and of the efforts of the Union to deal with it. He also spoke of stock breeding, and the desirability of infusing in to it the competitive spirit. No other country can supply stock like English stock, if the English farmers were put to the test. The Government were pressing them to grow more corn, but that could not be done without more labour

Mr Dobson said it looked as if the farmers are not yet realised how essential it was that they should stand together. Their industry ought to be the foremost in the country, and they should organise it until it obtained its due recognition.

Instead of the Union having 25,000 members, it should have 250,000, and it should include within its ranks implement workers, farriers, and the great multitude of people who were connected with the industry of agriculture. It had been alleged against the farmers that they did not pay adequate wages, and he noticed that somebody had been trying to put a locker in the wheel of a man who had been employing a boy of 13. The education authority had threatened to proceed against the boy’s parents and the farm, but he (Mr Dobson) maintained that the boy was doing good to his parents and his country, and was making a man of himself.

Touching the question of the growing of wheat, Mr Dodson asked where we should have been at the pet scheme of Mr Runciman had been adopted, and we had all been smallholders. The time will come when the true facts would have to be stated, and they would set themselves far as food supplies were concerned.

Regarding the purchasing of fodder for his Majesty’s horses, he was a member of a committee which had been summoned to York for the purpose of cooperating with and advising the officer whose duty was to carry out this work. He found, however, that they might as well have stayed at home, for all they were allowed to do was to direct the officer when he might find the fodder, and the officer concluded the purchase according to his own judgement, despite the fact that there were experienced farmers at hand to advise him.

During the meeting Mr Dobson was appointed from the branch to the Union conference in London.