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The Farmer in New Zealand

4. The Farming Industry

4. The Farming Industry

Perhaps the best account of the development of refrigerated transport is to be found in A History of the Frozen Meat Trade (London, 2nd edition, 1912) by J. T. Critchell and J. Raymond. A work of similar value, but page 150exclusively concerned with New Zealand, is H. G. Philpott's A History of the New Zealand Dairy Industry (Wellington, 1937). W. D. Powdrell's Dairy Farming in New Zealand (Wellington, 1920) is an interesting practical handbook for farmers, which points out, inter alia, that the city-dweller with a large family is misapplying his labours: in the country the family would become an asset instead of a liability.

Edward Wakefield in his New Zealand After Fifty Years (London, 1889) describes conditions before the beneficial effects of refrigeration had properly gathered momentum. A vivid account of breaking in bush, written by the men who had carried it out in practice, is contained in Essays on Bush-Farming by W. F. Doney and others (Woodville, 1891). E. Earle Vaile's Pioneering the Pumice (Christchurch, 1939), shows how land once deemed practically valueless has been brought into production. It also shows the sturdy character of its author with a good deal of candour.

The economic structure of the farming industry to-day is surveyed exhaustively in the monumental symposium Agricultural Organization in New Zealand (Melbourne, 1936) published by the Institute of Pacific Relations. The portions of W. P. Morrell's New Zealand (London, 1935) which deal with the modern farming industry form an admirable summary, while The Pastoral Industries of New Zealand (London, 1935) by R. Ogilvie Buchanan, contains some interesting material, particularly on the interrelation of climate and types of farming. Small Capital Land Occupations in New Zealand (Wellington, 1922), page 151published by the Department of Agriculture, discusses the prospects, substantially the same to-day, in some of the subsidiary types of primary production.

Since its first publication in 1892 (Wellington) the New Zealand Year Book, published annually by the government, has provided a series of statistics of the greatest value to the economist studying the farming capabilities of the Dominion. The articles on special subjects are excellent, and the comprehensiveness of the picture of all phases of life in New Zealand which can be reduced to number and measure gives this fascinating publication—truly a neglected classic—its unique quality and authority. The New Zealand Journal of Agriculture (Wellington, 1910-), a monthly which has been brought out in a more popular format since 1938, is a government publication of great merit and interest.

André Siegfried, a Frenchman who visited New Zealand about the beginning of the century, made some acute observations on post-refrigeration New Zealand in his Democracy in New Zealand (London, 1914), the English translation of his book published in Paris in 1904. Edmund de S. Brunner expressed his opinion of some aspects of our life and economy in Rural Australia and New Zealand (San Francisco, 1938): he has not hesitated to make up his mind on account of the briefness of his visit.