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The Victories of Peace - II page 2

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The situation and prospects of British agriculture are not more satisfactory than those of our manufactures. Our farmers have passed through several very unfavourable seasons. Under the protective system, when the quantity of grain produced was small, the price rose so as fully to compensate the farmer. The producer was kept safe; the consumer alone suffered. Now, with all the world growing wheat for us, the miseries of a bad harvest come upon the farmer, whose price does not rise, however low his production may fall. It does not now admit of doubt that America can profitably deliver in this country grain and meat at lower prices than we, at present inflated rentals, are able to produce them ourselves. During the prosperous years since the opening of the free trade period values of land and rents have been unduly appreciated. A readjustment of such values, to an extent which cannot fail to be painful to many, has now become plainly inevitable.

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