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The Handicrafts Guild, started in the Institutes for the purpose of encouraging home industries, steadily increased in membership during the year. Classes in various crafts were arranged at different centres, and Tests were held in Knitting, Sewing Work, White and Coloured Embroidery, Leatherwork and Basketry. The work shown in many sections was of a high quality. Craft certificates were granted to those who reached the necessary standard and much helpful advice was given by the judges. The expenses of these Classes and Tests were met from the grant provided from the Development Fund for instruction in handicrafts.
The magazine of the Institutes, "Scottish Home and Country," continued to show an increase in popularity, and at the close of the year the circulation amounted to 10,000 copies." Several new leaflets were added to those issued by the Central Council.
The report on the agricultural survey of four parishes in Kincardineshire, which was carried out at the end of 1925, was completed in June. A limited number of copies of the report was duplicated for distribution to the three Agricultural Colleges in Scotland and to other interested bodies. A summary of the report appeared in the July number of the Scottish Journal of Agriculture. Considerable interest was aroused by the report, and there was general agreement that it was a valuable and suggestive document. It has therefore been decided that a similar survey of selected districts in the south-east and southwest of Scotland should be made by officers of the Board.
It was decided to associate with the Board's officers two independent agricultural experts who would advise principally in regard to the methods of the survey. Sir James Davidson and Mr J. H. Milne Home have agreed to act in this capacity.
EMPIRE MARKETING BOARD.
The Government have agreed to set aside annually a sum of £1,000,000 for the encouragement of the marketing of Empire produce, and have appointed the Empire Marketing Board to administer this fund. The Board is composed of representatives of the Dominions and of this country, and it is intended that the fund shall be utilised for the benefit of home producers as well as producers in other parts of the Empire. It has been decided that the allocation of this money shall be mainly in two directions, publicity and research, and that the work shall be done as far as possible through the existing Departments and Institutions. The Board have agreed to co-operate with the Empire Marketing Board and it has been arranged that grants from the fund in aid of Scottish agricultural schemes shall be made through the Board, who will undertake the administration of such grants on behalf of the Empire Marketing Board. Applications from
other parts of the Empire, where they appear to affect Scottish agricultural interests, are also referred to the Board for their observations.
The following schemes were dealt with by the Board during the year 1926 :
Publicity Grants.—It was arranged that applications for grants from the Empire Marketing Fund for publicity purposes should be considered in the first place by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries or the Board of Agriculture for Scotland, who would also co-operate with the Empire Marketing Board by collecting information, where required, concerning particular classes of home-grown produce which should be supported by advertisement, and the seasons at which that advertisement should be forthcoming. Acting on such information and the advice furnished by the Ministry or the Board, the Empire Marketing Board propose to support the publicity work of individual associations by parallel efforts rather than by direct grants.
Research on Pastures and Dietetics.-The Rowett Research Institute, at the request of the Empire Marketing Board and with the concurrence of the Board of Agriculture for Scotland, has undertaken a scheme of research work on nutritional problems relating to the native population and to animals in Kenya Colony, in conjunction with the Medical and Agricultural Departments of the Colony Administration. The scheme covers a period of two years and the cost will be met from the Empire Marketing Fund. Six workers were sent out to Kenya in the latter part of the year and certain nutritional experiments were commenced. The laboratory work in connection with the scheme is being conducted at the Rowett Research Institute.
Investigation into the Utilisation and Marketing of Milk and Milk Products.—An application was received from the Scottish National Milk and Health Association for a grant from the Empire Marketing Fund in aid of a scheme of investigation into the utilisation and marketing of home-produced milk and milk products. The scheme consisted of two parts:-(1) Feeding experiments with school children, to be conducted in the chief cities in Scotland and in Belfast, and a survey of previous work on similar lines. (2) A preliminary survey of the results of previous investigations on the subject of the utilisation of milk residues. This scheme was approved by the Empire Marketing Board, who made available the necessary funds, it being agreed that the Scottish Board of Health should be responsible for Part (1) and the Board of Agriculture for Scotland for Part (2). The final arrangements for the institution of the latter were under consideration at the end of the year, and it is hoped that work under the scheme will be begun early in 1927.
Horticultural Research.-The Lanarkshire Fruit Growers' Association made application for a grant from the Empire Marketing Board in aid of a scheme of Horticultural Research.
The Board did not, however, see their way to recommend the application in view of the fact that a considerable amount of research into horticultural problems was already being conducted in Scotland as well as in England.
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURE.
At the Eighth General Assembly of the International Institute of Agriculture, which was held in Rome in April, the Board was represented by two of its officers on the British Delegation. In pursuance of the scheme mentioned in the Board's last Report, the Delegation also included a representative of Agricultural Associations in Great Britain. The Institute has now communicated with the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture, and the National Farmers' Union of Scotland, with a view to their appointing delegates to the Permanent Commission of Agricultural Associations, which has been founded for the purpose of advising the Institute either by correspondence or by meetings in Rome.
Among the matters discussed at the General Assembly was the World Census of Agriculture to be taken in 1930, in which the Board have undertaken to co-operate.
ADMINISTRATION OF VARIOUS STATUTES
AGRICULTURAL HOLDINGS (SCOTLAND) ACT. 1923.
APPLICATIONS FOR CERTIFICATES.
During the year the Board disposed of 13 applications from landlords of agricultural holdings for certificates under Section 12 (2) of this Act, that the tenant was not cultivating the holding according to the rules of good husbandry. Four certificates were granted and 6 were refused, while the remaining 3 applications were withdrawn. In one instance where the tenant appealed for arbitration, the Board's decision was upheld by the arbiter.
APPOINTMENT OF ARBITERS.
Arbiters were appointed in 41 cases, and extensions of time for making awards were granted in 52 cases. The amount received in respect of fees was £21. 10s. 6d. No charges on estates were granted under Sections 21 to 24 of the Act.
PROVISION OF ALLOTMENTS.
Statistics. In the spring of each year returns of the number and acreage of allotments under cultivation during the preceding year are collected by the Board from all Town Councils, and from 62 selected Parish Councils in urban and industrial areas. The statistics furnished in respect of the season 1925 gave a total of 19,742 allotments extending to 1,152 acres. These
figures show a decrease of 2,119 in the number of allotments and one of 120 acres in the area, as compared with the returns for 1924.
Allotments (Scotland) Act, 1922.-No applications for the issue of Orders authorising the compulsory acquisition of land for allotments were received during the year.
Allotments (Scotland) Act, 1926.-Reference may be made to the passing of this Act, which received Royal Assent on 29th April 1926. It empowers local authorities to levy rates up to an amount not exceeding one penny in the pound for the purpose of meeting expenditure in the provision of allotments.
RENT AND MORTGAGE INTEREST (RESTRICTIONS) ACTS,
During the year 27 applications were received for certificates under Section 5 (1) of the Act of 1920, to the effect that dwellinghouses were required for the occupation of persons engaged on work necessary for the proper working of agricultural holdings, or with whom contracts for employment on agricultural work had been entered into conditional on housing accommodation being provided. Of these applications, 16 were granted and 8 were refused, while at the close of the year 3 applications were under consideration. The amount received in respect of fees was £56. 14s.
CORN PRODUCTION ACTS (REPEAL) ACT, 1921.
DESTRUCTION OF INJURIOUS WEEDS.
Three notices were served by the Board under this Act during the year requiring occupiers of land to destroy injurious weeds. In one of these cases where the Board's requirements were not satisfactorily implemented, it was decided to institute proceedings against the occupier.
In a considerable number of cases, written warnings issued by the Board to occupiers rendered the service of statutory notices unnecessary.
RATS AND MICE (DESTRUCTION) ACT, 1919.
At the Board's request a further intensive campaign against rats was held by the local authorities during one week in March, the methods employed being similar to those recommended by the Board in previous years. Most of the local authorities, the naval and military authorities and the railway companies. responded to the invitation. From the reports received it was apparent that the campaign was highly successful, satisfactory features being the complete clearance of many premises previously seriously infested, the increased attention paid to the destruction of rats in public sewers and slaughter-houses and the now almost general recognition of the necessity for sustained effort. Three local authorities launched similar campaigns later in the year.
During the year the Board's Organising Officer, in addition to keeping in close touch with the officials of local authorities, again devoted attention to sewage works, refuse-coups, slaughterhouses and other premises.
At the Highland and Agricultural Society's Show demonstrations were given in the use of various appliances for the destruction of rats.
Experiments conducted by the Organising Officer during the year have indicated that calcium cyanide is a useful medium for the destruction of rats in burrows and refuse-dumps. It is hoped to arrange for further demonstrations in the use of this poison during 1927.
OTHER AGRICULTURAL PESTS.
The Board continued during the year their grant to the County Council of Aberdeen in aid of the scheme carried out in that county for the destruction of agricultural pests. The report on operations conducted during 1925 showed that over 30,000 rooks, 1,600 wood-pigeons, 1,800 sparrows, 300 starlings, 50 gulls, 330 brown hares, 140 squirrels and 212 foxes and cubs had been destroyed during the season. The net cost of the scheme was £232. 13s. 10d., the amount of the Board's grant in aid being £90.
HEATHER BURNING (SCOTLAND) ACT, 1926.
This Act, which came into operation on 4th August 1926, provides that the statutory period for heather-burning in Scotland shall be from 1st October to 15th April of the following year, instead of, as heretofore, 1st November to 11th April. Should, however, the proprietor of any class of land, or the tenant with the proprietor's written authority, so desire, he may burn heather between 16th and 30th April of any year. Further, if the lands in question are a deer forest situated at more than 1,500 feet above sea level, the limit of this extension of time is 15th May, subject always, in the case of a tenant, to his obtaining the proprietor's written authority.
Any tenant of land who is of opinion that he is unduly restricted, either by the terms of his lease or otherwise, in the matter of heather-burning, is entitled to apply to the Board of Agriculture for Scotland for an Order regulating muirburn on his land. If, after certain statutory procedure, the Board are satisfied of the merits of the application, they may make an Order prescribing the conditions under which heather-burning may be carried out in any year during the currency of the lease.
If the tenant of any lands who, either in terms of his lease or by virtue of an Order made by the Board of Agriculture for Scotland for the regulation of muirburn on these lands, is entitled to burn heather after 16th April, has failed to obtain the proprietor's permission to do so, he may make application to the Board, who, if satisfied of the expediency of the tenant's proposals, may make an Order authorising the tenant, subject to