Farmers criticise industry’s neglect
With the war focusing attention on the need for the country to feed itself, farmers met in Stirling.
The gathering in the Golden Lion Hotel was for the purpose of setting up a local branch of the National Farmers Union Scotland.
James McFarlane, Oxhill, Buchlyvie, presided over a good attendance, although disappointment was expressed at the small representation of farmers from the immediate neighbourhood.
Mr Macauley, Turnlaw, Cambuslang, a member of the union’s central executive, said farmers had been slow to recognise the benefits of organising themselves and “only had to think of the past to realise they had been
“If encouragement had been given to the agricultural population in the rural districts they would have been able to meet the demands of the present day.
“It would have gone a long way to furthering the country’s cause and bringing about the victory which is so much desired.”
Membership of the union was around 4000 and branches had been formed from Wigtown to Orkney.
Mr Macauley said only by organising themselves would they stop legislators from taking advantage of them at every opportunity.
Mr Oswald, Northfield, Denny, president of the Denny branch of the union, said 25 per cent more cattle could be grazed in his area if vermin were cleared from it.
The chairman pointed out farmers had permission to destroy deer and rabbits on their land.
And Mr Macauley said “any man who produced crops should have the power to destroy anything which injured crops”.
It was agreed to form a branch of the union in Stirling and the following seven farmers were appointed to make the arrangements: Mr Bryce, Westwood; M Carrick, the Baad; Mr Peattie, North Third; Mr Thomson, Manor Neuk; Mr Johnston, Newmills; James McLaren, Alton; and James Paterson, Burnbank.
AC Buchanan, secretary of Stirling Agricultural Society, urged all local farmers to join and added that one of the first matters they should address was the difficulty producers had in securing a permit to sell their hay.