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Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
Proceedings at General Meetings


GENERAL MEETING, 14th JUNE 1876.

Mr John Munro, Fairnington, Kelso, senior Ordinary Director, in the Chair.

New Members.—137 gentlemen were balloted for and elected.

Address to the Prince of Wales.—The Chairman said—Before proceeding with the business of the meeting, I have to state that the Directors have prepared an address for presentation to the Prince of Wales on his return from India, and which will be laid before the Society for its approval.

Mr F. N. Menzies, Secretary, then read the address, as follows:—

"To His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.

"May it please your Royal Highness,—We, the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, incorporated by Royal Charter, in general meeting assembled, humbly desire to offer to your Royal Highness our sincere congratulations on the occasion of your return from your visit to India. When your Royal Highness graciously consented to become the President of our Society, we recognised in that act an earnest of your solicitude to promote the prosperity of the country, as founded on the progress of industry and the cultivation of the useful arts. We gratefully bear in remembrance that it has been under the beneficent sway of your royal ancestors that the industry of this country has been most favoured, and that agriculture, commerce, and all the arts of life have been most successfully cultivated. In like manner, we trust that from your visit to India, and your attention to the interests of that country, still greater advances may be made towards that solid strength of the State which is founded on the numbers, enterprise, and opulence of the people. It was extremely gratifying to us to hear of the cordial and loyal welcome accorded to your Royal Highness by all classes of Her Majesty's Indian subjects, and we sincerely pray that the result may be to secure during ages to come that permanent attachment to the Crown which has been evinced on the present occasion.—Signed at the desire and in the presence of a general meeting of the Society held at Edinburgh on the 14th day of June 1876.

"John Munro, Chairman."

The address was unanimously adopted.

Death of Sir Alexander Gibson-Maitland of Clifton Hall, Bart.—It was resolved by the Society, before proceeding to the business on the programme, to record in their minutes the deep regret with which they regard the death of Sir Alexander Charles Ramsay Gibson-Maitland of Clifton Hall, Bart.. and to express their sense of the valuable assistance which the Society has for many years received from him as a Director and as a member of the Council on Agricultural Education. The meeting directed that a copy of the resolution be transmitted to Lady Gibson-Maitland, with their respectful condolence with her and her family under so painful a bereavement.

Arrangements for the Arerdeen Show.—Mr Gillon of Wallhouse said—I have to report that the arrangements for the Aberdeen show are progressing satisfactorily. There was at one time some difficulties as to the Society's getting the use of the links for a showyard, but these have been overcome. The showyard will be erected by Mr Richardson of Annan, who has been the contractor for the last four years. Mr Richardson will thus complete the period for which the contract was let—namely, five years. The following is a comparative statement of the entries at Aberdeen in 1868 and on the present occasion:—

The several sub-committees, as well as two attending members on each set of judges, were appointed at a meeting of the General Committee of Superintendance, held at Aberdeen on Friday last. The following are the committees appointed:—Admission of Stock—Mr Thomson, Newseat of Dumbreck (convener); Mr Salmond, Nether Balfour ; Mr G. J. Walker, Portlethen. Admission of the Public—-Sir William Forbes of Cragiever (convener); Provost Annand, Inverurie; Sheriff Thomson; Bailie Donald; Mr W. Paul, Advocate; Mr Crombie of Grandholm; Mr Paterson, Auld-town of Carnousie; Mr Farquharson of Haughton. Banquet— Lord Provost Jamieson (convener); Sir J. D. H. Elphinstone of Logie Elphinstone, Bart., M.P. ; Mr Irvine of Drum : Colonel Ferguson of Pitfour; Colonel Ramsay of Barra; Dean of Guild Walker; Lord Kintore; and Mr Grant of Drumminor. Ball—Sheriff Thomson (convener) ; Sir William Forbes of Cragievar, Bart.; Colonel Farquharson of Invercauld; the Marquis of Huntly; the Earl of Aberdeen; Mr Davidson of Desswood; and Mr W. Paul. Forage Yard—Mr Cochrane, Little Haddo (convener); Mr Campbell, Kinellar; and Mr Macdonald, factor, Cluny. Police—Lord Provost Jamieson (convener), Bailie Donald, and the Dean of Guild. Accommodation of Strangers-Bailie Donald and the Dean of Guild. The following gentlemen have been appointed attending members on the judges of the various classes of stock:—Shorthorn—Mr Lyall, Old Montrose; and Mr Copland, Mill of Ardlethen. Polled Angus or Aberdeen —Colonel Ramsay of Barra, and Mr Cochrane, Little Haddo. Galloway—Mr Farquharson of Haughton, and Mr Leslie, Corskellie. Ayrshire—Colonel Innes of Learney, and Mr Walker, Ardhunkart. Highland Cattle and Blackfaced Sheep—Mr Grant of Drumminor, and Mr Macdonald, factor, Cluny. Fat Stock—Mr Stuart of Laithers, and Mr Lumsden, Braco. Clydesdale Horses—Colonel Ferguson of Pitfour, and Mr Mitchell, Auchnagathle. Hunters—Provost Wood, Banff; and Mr Adamson, Balqu-harn. Cheviot Sheep—Mr Leslie of Warthill, and Mr Campbell, Kinellar. Border Leicesters—Mr Hannay of Gavenwood, and Mr Singer, Rothmaise. Southdown and other Short-woolled Sheep—Mr M'Combie of Easter Skene, and Mr Davidson, North Leys. Swine— Mr Nicol of Ballogie, and Mr Alexander, Bent of Haulkerton. Poultry—Mr Scott of Brotherton, and Mr Cowie, Cromblybank. Implements—Mr Gordon of Newton; Mr Innes of Raemoir; Mr Auld, South Auchenclech; Mr Douglas, Haddo House; Mr Wilken, Waterside of Forbes; and Mr Smith, West Drums.

The report was adopted.

Edinburgh Show, 1877.—The arrangements for next year's show, so far as yet made, are entirely satisfactory. The list of classes of stock, for which premiums will afterwards be offered, has been some time before the public. The counties embraced in the show have all agreed to a contribution in aid of the Auxiliary Fund.

The report was adopted.

Agricultural Education.—Mr Irvine of Drum, in the absence of Professor Balfour, reported the result of the examinations for the Society's agricultural certificate and diploma, and for the prizes awarded in the agricultural class.

Chemical Department.—Mr C. J. Mackenzie of Portmore read the following report as to the Chemical Department:—"On behalf of the Committee in charge of the Chemical Department, I regret to have to report that Sir Thomas Buchan Hepburn has resigned the Chairmanship of that Committee. The Directors were unanimous in requesting Sir Thomas to reconsider his resignation; but as he adhered to it, the Directors were reluctantly obliged to accept it, and appointed me to discharge the duties of that office. The Committee at their first meeting thereafter passed the following resolution:—'The Committee cannot commence their report without expressing their regret at the loss of the valuable services of Sir Thomas Buchan Hepburn, who took so lively an interest in the Chemical Department, and who has for many years devoted so much time to the duties devolving upon him, first as a Member, and latterly as Convener of the Committee. This resolution was cordially approved by the Board, and will, I am sure, be as warmly passed by you. (Applause.) I have now to report that, in consequence of the remit from the last General Meeting regarding the appointment of a chemist, the Directors, on the 2d of February, referred the matter to the Committee in charge of the Chemical Department. The Committee reported, on 23d February, that the best means of carrying out the instructions of the General Meeting was to advertise for a chemist qualified to organise and conduct the agricultural experimental stations about to be established, and who should devote his whole time to the Society; and they also prepared a note of the duties of the chemist in accordance with the directions of the General Meeting. This course was approved of by the Directors, who issued advertisements, in answer to which ten applications, besides various letters, were received. These were carefully gone over by the Committee, who reported on the 31st of May that they had considered all the applications and relative documents, and had come to the conclusion that none of the applicants combine all the qualifications necessary for the post of chemist to the Society. They considered, however, that some of the gentlemen who had applied were possessed in a considerable degree of those qualifications. Under these circumstances the Committee could not recommend the Directors to appoint any of the gentlemen who had made application. The Committee also considered the letters received on the subject, and which were included in the remit to them ; and they were of opinion if the restriction in regard to the entire services of the chemist being devoted to the Society were removed, that much more eligible candidates would be induced to come forward. The Committee also drew the attention of the Directors to the question of the absence of laboratory accommodation, which was a serious complication in the matter. The Committee's report having been submitted to the Directors at their meeting on the 7th instant, they approved of it, and resolved to report in terms of it to this meeting." I have now to move—"That the Society approve of the report of the Directors, and agree to rescind the restrictions imposed at last General Meeting in regard to the services of the chemist to be appointed being entirely devoted to the Society."

Sir Alexander Jardine of Applegarth seconded the motion.

Mr D. Milne Home of Wedderburn said he was sorry to say that he could not agree to the motion proposed by Mr Mackenzie—in the first place, because, looking at the proposal, he considered it highly inexpedient, irrespective of anything that had been done by the Society before, and also because it was entirely inconsistent with the resolutions that had been come to at the last two General Meetings. The proposal was that the Society should appoint a chemist with a salary of L.300, and be allowed to take other employment from other parties, and at the same time to receive remuneration from them. That was exactly the position of the late Dr Anderson. They were aware that that appointment was universally condemned, because when a chemist had L.300 a year, and also got remuneration from those who chose to employ him, it was very natural that a great deal of the Society's work should be neglected, and that as much as possible of the work of the public should be received. Afterwards, Professor Dewar was appointed, with a salary of L.150, to assist Dr Anderson. He would ask what was ever done by Mr Dewar for the Society for the L.150 he received! The proposal was that he was to give lectures, engage in field experiments, and make researches in agriculture. Now, did he ever carry out these things? They knew that for years Dr Anderson was unable to do anything for the Society. There was a sum of L.450 a year paid to two chemists—these being allowed to work for the public; and the result was that the Society got no benefit at all from the employment of these parties. How could they make such an injudicious appointment as was proposed? Every one complained against a continuance of the system followed by Dr Anderson, and the last two General Meetings adopted resolutions to the effect that the chemist should be paid with reference to the work he should do. At the last January meeting, the Directors came forward and asked that they should have leave to make an appointment of a permanent character. On the motion of Colonel Innes of Learney leave was given only to appoint a chemist in connection with the experimental stations of the Society, and who would give his whole time to the work of the Society. That was unanimously carried. The Directors concurred in it, and he was surprised that they, without any previous notice that he was aware of, should have made the proposal they had now done, and that at this meeting they should suddenly propose to rescind the resolution adopted at the last General Meeting and ask the Society to allow them to appoint a chemist without giving them his whole time. The resolution adopted at the previous meeting said that it was only in the event of experimental stations being established that a chemist was to be appointed. What did the Directors do? They advertised for a chemist before they knew that there were to be any experimental stations. He was surprised to hear in the report reference to stations "about to be established." These were not the words of the resolution. It declared that the whole time of the chemist was to be devoted to the Society, and he was to be appointed if the experimental stations were to be established------

Mr C. J. Mackenzie read the resolution which had been adopted at the previous meeting, which stated that the employment of the chemist would be limited to the organisation and management of the stations.

Mr Milne Home said that there had been no stations established by the Society.

Mr Mackenzie said that they had not yet been organised.

Mr Milne Home said there was as yet no prospect of having stations established. He had asked the Secretary if there was any prospects of having them, but he understood that there was no land offered------

Mr F. N. Menzies (Secretary)—On the contrary, I mentioned that there had been offers made.

Mr Milne Home—Then why has that not been mentioned? The very first thing that the Directors should have done was to say whether the stations were to be established. He would ask, if they appointed a chemist to-day, what work was he to do? By the resolution the work he was to be allowed to do was in connection with the experimental stations. He thought it was most inexpedient to get into the old track, and especially as it was utterly inconsistent with the resolution come to that it was only after the stations were to be arranged that a chemist should be appointed. The Aberdeen farmers found that they could get five stations, and after that, and not till then, they employed a chemist. He firmly believed that the Society would not get stations. In the first place, there was no money for them. The Directors stated that there was to be a sum of L.700 for a chemist and the stations. They proposed to give L.300 to a chemist, and where was the other L.400? They had already struck off L.200 of the L.700, and there was only L.200 left. Was that enough to carry on the work? He did not think so. They ought first to get the stations, and then make the appointment------

The Chairman—Do you make any motion?

Mr Milne Home—No; I only enter my protest. I warn the Directors that if they agree to the proposal now made they will hear more of it at next meeting.

Mr C. J. Mackenzie said that a great deal of what Mr Milne Home had stated was inconsistent with the facts. The Directors had all along been of opinion that they should have the services of a chemist competent to carry on the stations, and one who could give his whole time to the work; but if they failed to get a competent person to do so, they felt that the next best thing to do was to appoint one who could give them a portion of his time. As to what Mr Milne Home had said as to Dr Anderson and Mr Dewar, he did not wish to enter into that question, as it was rather a personal affair. If the Society had sufficient confidence in their Directors to leave to them to appoint the best man they could get to do the work, the Society could only ask them to give their confidence to the extent proposed, and they might rest satisfied that it would not be abused. As to what had been said regarding Mr Dewar, that gentleman was very anxious and willing to do his work, but it was because no work was provided for him that he did not do it. Therefore the mere fact that Mr Dewar did not do the work did not tell against him at all. Mr Milne Home complained that he got no notice of the present proposal, but the only notice the Directors could give was the publication in the newspapers of the resolution of the last meeting of the Directors, from which it would be seen that they intended to make the proposal. They had taken the only means they had of making known their intention. As to the objection that there was no need to appoint a chemist at present, it struck him that they must begin somewhere. It was working in a circle, and they must break it at some point. If they could not get a chemist to give his advice, what was the use of getting the land? It was very likely they would get the land gratuitously, and they had no intention to appoint a chemist till they saw that they could get work for him. They had already had offers of land, and they must have powers to appoint a competent chemist before they arranged as to the stations. They could then put into operation the plans of Sir Thomas Hepburn. There were none of the Chemical Committee who could undertake the organisation and direction of these matters without the professional aid of a chemist; and if they were allowed to appoint such a man, the Directors would put him into work at once.

Mr Mason, Corstorphine Hill, said he did not think that they would get a chemist for L.300 a year—L.500 was more like the sum they should offer. There were many men who did little or nothing, and little better than labourers, who got L.2 a week for their work, and how could they expect that they could get a man well skilled in chemistry to do what they wanted for L.300 a year? In connection with this matter, if they could get one hundred men to give L.10 each, he would be his share.

Mr Melvin, Bonnington, said he thought there was a good deal of truth in what Mr Mason had said, and he had always held that there should not be less than L. 500 offered to a chemist. He very much agreed with what Mr Milne had said, but he did not entirely agree with him. He did not see why the scheme of experimental stations could be set agoing without a head. He did not suppose that they could ask any of the Directors to take the charge. They wanted an official who could be taken to task if the work was neglected. A practical agricultural chemist was the first person they should appoint, but he did not see why they should take merely a portion of his time, which would likely be the fag part of it. They wanted an energetic young man to carry out the organisation of the scheme. Professor Anderson was a very able man in his own department, but he did not study agricultural chemistry in such a way as to satisfy the wants of the agriculturists of Scotland. He did not think that the Society was so very hard up as not to be able to give L.500 a year to a chemist. He had seen that within the last ten years they had added nearly L.20,000 to the funds of the Society. In the year 1864-65 the funds amounted to about L.49,000, and in the last report they were stated at L.68,000. Here they had L.19,000 added to the funds of the Society, and he thought that they should not go on starving the progress of science in agricultural matters by hoarding up their money but that they might be a little more liberal and give L. 500 for the chemist, and L. 500 for the experimental stations. If they then found it necessary to do more they could then apply to the liberality of Mr Mason.

Mr Milne Home said he quite agreed that there must be a chemical head to the experimental stations. All he said was that they should not make the appointment till they had the prospect of carrying on the experimental stations, and the money for carrying them on.

Mr C. J. Mackenzie said that the Directors would take care that the chemist would not be appointed till there was sufficient work for him to do.

Mr Milne Home asked if that limitation would be fixed upon in leaving the matter in the hands of the Directors.

Mr C. J. Mackeznie said he did not think it was right to fix down the Directors as was proposed by Mr Milne Home; but he did not hesitate to say that it was then-intention to carry out what he had mentioned.

Mr Milne Home said he would agree to what had been proposed, taking into account the statement by Mr Mackenzie.

The motion by Mr Mackenzie was then unanimously agreed to.

The Celtic Chair.—The Secretary read the following petition from Professor Blackie:—

"College, 24th May. "To the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland—

"The Petition of John Stuart Blackie, Professor of Greek in the University of Edinburgh.

"The Directors of the Highland Society are doubtless aware from the public prints that a scheme has been put forth for the erection of a Celtic Chair in the University of Edinburgh, which has received the support of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, of his Grace the Duke of Buccleuch, his Grace of Argyll, his Grace of Sutherland, the Most Noble the Marquis of Bute, and other distinguished members of the aristocracy ; also of many of the most distinguished scholars in England, Scotland, and Ireland ; not less of the whole Gaelic people both at home and in the Colonies, as the papers herewith sent will sufficiently show. It seems therefore only natural, and would certainly be both popular and politic, that the Highland Society of Scotland, following up the example early set by the publication of the Scoto-Celtic Dictionary under their auspices, should not be absent in the roll of those who have so nobly come forward to aid this patriotic undertaking. The Directors will observe that the professorship is not confined to the Celtic literature of the Scottish Highlands, but includes Irish, "Welsh, Manx, and Armenian, and is intended to secure that there shall always be in the Metropolitan University of Scotland a scholar capable to expound scientifically the earliest records of British history, and to enable Scotland to take the place in the growing science of comparative philology, which her possession of a large Celtic population seems to call upon her to resume. The Sanscrit Chair, some years ago created by the liberal intelligence of Dr John Muir, only requires to be supplemented by the chair of Celtic and a chair of Romanesque languages, to make Edinburgh the most completely equipped philological' school in Britain. Hoping that the Highland Society will look favourably on the scheme of the University as one in which they have a special interest,—I have the honour to be, your most obedient,

(Signed) "John S. Blackie."

The Chairman said that a similar application had been twice before the Directors, and they did not on either of these occasions see their way to acquiesce in making any grant. Since a third application had been brought before them, the Directors thought that the best course to adopt would be to submit the petition to this General Meeting for its decision.

The Hon. George Waldegrave Leslie—Is the object of this petition embraced within the charters of the Society?

The Chairman - There is no mention in the charters of anything of the kind, but in the original regulations of the Society there was an allusion to Celtic literature.

The Secretary said that in the regulations of 1784 it was set forth that the objects of this Society shall be—(1) An enquiry into the present state of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and the condition of their inhabitants; (2) an enquiry into the means of their improvement by establishing towns and villages, by facilitating communication through different parts of the Highlands of Scotland by roads and bridges, advancing agriculture, and extending fisheries, introducing useful trades and manufactures, and by an exertion to unite the efforts of the proprietors, and call the attention of Government towards the encouragement and prosecution of these beneficial purposes; (3) The Society shall also pay a proper attention to the preservation of the language, poetry, and music of the Highlands. The operation of the Society was at first limited to matters connected with the improvement of the Highlands of Scotland; but the supervision of certain departments proper to that part of the country having been subsequently committed to special Boards of Management, several of the earlier objects contemplated by the Society were abandoned, while the progress of agriculture led to the adoption of others of a more general character. Mr Milne Home said he was present at a meeting of the Directors a few weeks ago, when an opinion was given by the Secretary to the effect that this was a matter within their province. The Highland Society of London had given a sum for aiding the endowment of this chair, and it was a pity if the Highland Society of Scotland was not to do something in the matter. He had seen a paper lately showing that not less than L.8000 had been subscribed for this chair. He understood that L.10,000 was required, and after what Mr Melvin had stated regarding their funds, they could surely give L.50 to aid in what many of the members of the Society had subscribed for out of their own pockets. They had, as a Society, assisted in the publication of a Gaelic dictionary, and of various other Gaelic books, and he thought" they could afford to give L.50 for this object.

Mr A. Campbell Swinton of Kimmerghame said that the Directors best knew whether they could afford this, and if they could give a donation of L.50, it would be a graceful thing for the Society to do. It was undoubtedly comprised within their original objects, and their charter was obtained for the purpose of enlarging rather than diminishing their operations. The Secretary had stated that several of the earlier objects were abandoned because of the supervision of certain departments------

The Secretary—Like the fisheries and manufactures.

Mr Campbell Swinton—I do not think there is any special board of management which has for its object the promotion and maintenance of Celtic literature. This is not a Celtic chair in the sense of its being a Gaelic chair, but a chair for a very important subject connected with the prosecution of comparative philology. He did not think that L. 50 would be a great drain on their resources, and the giving of such a contribution would be a very graceful thing on the part of the Society.

Mr Mackenzie said that if the meeting was cordially in favour of this suggestion, it would be an easy matter for the Directors to enquire into the state of their funds, and say whether they could see their way to give a grant of L.50. They were assured by one gentleman that Professor Blackie would be glad to see the name of the Highland Society on the list of contributors, although they were to spread the subscription over three or five years. If they were to do that, they might not feel it so much as by giving the contribution in the lump.

Mr A. Campbell Swinton—I think we may safely leave the matter in the hands of the Directors. Nobody has expressed any feeling of decided opposition, and the Directors can again take the matter into their consideration.

Professor Wilson said he wished simply to mention that when this matter was discussed by the Directors, some one of the members suggested that L.50 would be a very poor subscription on the part of a Society such as this, and that if they gave anything at all it should not be less than L.100. It was upon that sum being-mentioned that the suggestion was made that the money might be spread over different periods.

Mr Mackenzie—I was merely following the lead on the sum that had been mentioned by Mr Milne Home.

Mr Milne Home—Then let it be understood that the Directors have power to give to the extent of one hundred guineas.

The Hon. G. Waldegrave Leslie—It should he remitted to them to see whether such a grant is within the original objects of the Society; and if so, that should be stated in giving the grant.

The Secretary—The original objects were never rescinded, although the Society is under a new charter.

The Hon. George Waldegrave Leslie—A statement that it is within the objects of the Society will shut out endless demands for money.

The petition was then remitted back to the Directors.

Veterinary Charter. Captain Tod of Howden then said—I have to report that on the 24th of May a deputation from the Society waited on the Lord President at the Privy Council Office, for the purpose of asking that a charter should be granted to the Society, by which their powers of granting certificates might be extended to that of diplomas. The deputation consisted of the Earl of Dalkeith, M.P.; the Earl of Dal-housie; the Earl of Strathmore; the Earl of Mar and Kellie; the Earl of Southesk; Lord Oranmore; the Hon. George Waldegrave Leslie; Sir E. Colebrooke, M.P.; Sir William Edmonstone, Bart., M.P.; Sir Thomas Gladstone; Sir Alexander Gordon, M.P.; Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, M.P.; Sir Graham Montgomery, M.P.; Mr Vans Agnew, M.P.; Mr C. Dalrymple, M.P.; Mr Mackintosh, M.P.; Mr M'Lagan, M.P.; Mr Ramsay, M.P.; Mr Yeaman, M.P.; Mr Dundas of Arniston; Captain Tod ; Mr Arthur E. Baird; Mr T. A. Dollar, V.S.; Mr Finlay Dun; and Mr Menzies. The Earl of Dalkeith introduced the deputation; and after various remarks by several members, the Duke of Richmond said the memorial should receive his earnest consideration.

The report was adopted.

Veterinary Department.—Captain Tod reported that the examinations for the Society's veterinary certificate took place on the 17th, 18th, and 19th April, when twenty students presented themselves for examination, and that the following fourteen gentlemen passed:—Alexander Chivas, Peterhead; Owen Coll, Bruree, Limerick; John Edward Grey, Edinburgh; William Hunter, Newcastle-on-Tyne; A.J. Kelly, Navan, County Heath; William Stuart Low, Burntisland ; James M'Bryde, Mochrum; John M'Fadyean, Newton-Stewart; James Murray, Castlehill, Caithness; Robert Rain, Castle-Douglas; Henry Snarry, Malton; George Watson, Middlesborough; George W. Watson, Orkney; Daniel Webster, Riccall, York. The two medium gold medals given to the students who passed the best practical and the best general examination were awarded as follow: —Best Practical Examination—Robert Rain, Castle-Douglas. Best General Examination—John M'Fadyean, Barrachan, Newton-Stewart.

This report was also adopted.

Steam Cultivation.— The Hon. Geo. Waldegrave Leslie asked if there was any arrangement for the exhibition at Aberdeen of agricultural implements worked by steam?

The Secretary—I believe there is to be an exhibition of steam apparatus at Aberdeen if land can be obtained for the purpose.

The Hon. Waldegrave Leslie said he was glad to hear that there was the prospect of such an exhibition.

Transactions.—Mr Forbes Irvine having had to leave the meeting, Mr F. N. Menzies laid on the table the 8th volume of the Transactions, and stated that it had been sent to all members who had applied for it.

The Hon. George Waldegrave Leslie then moved a vote of thanks to the Chairman, and the meeting separated.

GENERAL MEETING, 17th JANUARY 1877.

His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, K.G., in the Chair. Election op Members.—Eighty-seven noblemen and gentlemen were balloted for in the manner prescribed by the charter and bye-law, and admitted as members.

Vote of Thanks to the Prince of Wales. The Noble Chairman moved the adoption of the following resolution:—"That his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, having presided over the Society for the period of four years prescribed by the charter, thereby sustaining the dignity and promoting the interests of the Society, the cordial thanks of the meeting are eminently due to his Royal Highness on retiring from office." His Grace went on to say that it was of very great importance to the country, and also to the Society, that they should have had the advantage of the countenance of the Prince of Wales as their president. His Royal Highness fully intended to have been present at the meeting of the Society on one occasion particularly, and he had made arrangements to attend, when circumstances occurred to prevent him. They must all deplore his absence, but they knew, from his having accepted the office of president, the interest he had taken in the Society, and what his feelings were generally with regard to Scotland.

The resolution was unanimously agreed to.

Election of President.—Mr Mackenzie of Portmore said he had much pleasure in proposing for the office of president of the Society a nobleman worthy in every point of view to fill it—namely, the Most Noble the Marquis of Lothian.

Mr Erskine of Cardross seconded the motion. He said he believed it would be the unanimous feeling of the meeting that a more worthy successor of the Prince of Wales as president of the Society could not be got than Lord Lothian. They had had many proofs of the interest he had taken in the Society, and he believed that under the noble Lord's presidency the prosperity of the Society would be continued. The motion was unanimously agreed to, and the Marquis of Lothian took the chair id loud applause.

The Noble Chairman said that the first duty that fell to him to perform in his new office was to thank the meeting in the most cordial manner for electing him president of the Society. When he first received the communication from the Directors asking him if he would accept the office if offered to him, his first inclination, not as a matter of feeling merely, but of heart, was that there were many others more capable than he was of undertaking the office, but he felt, at the same time, that the matter lay with the Directors and the meeting; and that if they elected him he could not do otherwise than accept the office. He could not sufficiently express his gratification at haying been unanimously elected. At the same time, he felt that the office of president of the Society was not entirely an honorary one, but that there were responsibilities attached to it also. He felt the weight of these responsibilities, in consequence of the illustrious names of those who had held the office before him, both in regard to position and experience in agricultural operations. He could, however, say that in accepting the office to which they had done him the honour to elect him, it would be his endeavour as far as he could to advance the objects of the Society. It was impossible but that in the great work carried on by a Society like this there should be differences of opinion as to minor details; but he hoped that during his tenure of office there would be a unanimous feeling, as far as possible, in the work of the Society, and that it might be able to carry on that work in which it had hitherto been engaged with much success.

Office-Bearers.—The following noblemen and gentlemen were elected to fill the other vacancies in the list of office-bearers:— Vice-Presidents—The Marquis of Tweed-dale, the Earl of Haddington, the Earl of Wemyss and March, and the Earl of Rose-bery. Ordinary Directors—Sir George Douglas Clerk of Penicuik, Bart.; Sir James R. Gibson-Maitland of Clifton Hall, Bart.; Thomas A. Hog of Newliston; Anthony Murray of Dollerie; Thomas Mylne, Niddrie Mains ; William Ritchie of Middleton; Charles Smith, Whittinghame; and Captain W. J. Wauchope of Niddrie Marischal. Extraordinary Directors—The Right Hon. Sir James Falshaw, Bart., Lord Provost of Edinburgh; the Earl of Dalkeith, K.T., M.P.; Lord Elcho, M.P.; the Hon. Charles Hope of Bridge Castle; Sir Hew Dalrymple of North Berwick, Bart.; Sir William Baillie of Polkemmet, Bart.; Arthur James Balfour of Whittinghame, M.P.; Robert Bryson, Master of the Merchant Company, Edinburgh; Robert Dundas of Arniston; and Peter M'Lagan of Pumpherston, M.P. Members of Council on Education— Robert Dundas of Arniston and John Munro, Fairnington.

Deceased Members.—The Duke of Buccleuch said that in the absence of the Honorary Secretary, and in his name, he had been asked to make the following statement:—

Before proceeding further to the business on the programme, I think it right that I should briefly refer to the loss sustained by the Society since the last anniversary General Meeting by the death of several old and respected members in various walks of life. Among these I have first to advert to the late Marquis of Tweeddale, in grateful remembrance of whose long and distinguished services, both to the country and the Society, the Directors embraced the earliest opportunity of testifying their sense and of expressing their regret at his loss. No person, his Grace went on to say, connected with the Society could hold a higher place than the Marquis did, or was more universally esteemed not only by the members of the Society, but by all who had an opportunity of knowing him and becoming acquainted with his worth. I have next to notice the names of Viscount Melville and Lord Hemes, the Right Hon. Sir John Stuart of Lochcarron, Lord Neaves and Lord Ardmillan, Sir James Horn Burnett, Bart.; Sir James Hall, Bart.; Sir Alexander Gibson-Maitland, Bart.; and Sir James Campbell of Stracathro. And then in alphabetical order I may mention—Mr Baird of Auchmedden, Mr David Bryce, architect; Mr Fletcher Campbell of Boquhan, Mr Dickson, Hermiston; Mr Gibson, Woolmet; Mr Hope of Bordlands, Mr Hope Johnstone of Annandale, Mr Johnstone of Bodesbeck, Mr Murray of Geanies, Mr Napier of Shandon, Mr John Swan, Edinburgh, and Mr David Tweedie, Castle Crawford. In regard to all those who had been members of the Board, the Directors have already passed resolutions expressive of the sense they entertained of their loss. The Directors having already done that, I think that we of the Society may give expression to our own feeling of regret. Out of a body comprising upwards of 4500 members, it will be easily conceived that it would occupy too much of your time to name all the deaths that annually occur, but I cannot overlook the Hon. Lady Menzies of Menzies, who has for many years been an exhibitor at the general shows, and took great interest in the Society.

The Accounts for 1875-76.—Mr Murray of Dollerie laid on the table the accounts for 1875-76, and stated that the abstract for the year showed on the charge side a total of L.7946, 11s., and the discharge L.7061, 11s. 8d., leaving a balance in the Royal Bank, as at November 30, of L.884, 19s. 4d., which would enable the Society to carry on its operations successfully. The Directors had voted a sum of L.105 to the Celtic Chair. The accounts of the Aberdeen Show state that the expense to the Society was about L. 650.

The Argyll Naval Fund. —Admiral Sir Wm. J. Hope-Johnstone read the abstract of the accounts of the Argyll Naval Fund, which stated that there was a balance in the bank at 30th November last of L. 439 5s. 11d., and he also gave a statement as to the origin and progress of the scheme.

Aberdeen Show, 1876.—Mr Gillon of Wallhouse said—On behalf of the Directors I have the gratifying duty of reporting that the Show at Aberdeen realised the highest expectations entertained for its success. As compared with the great meetings of former years, it was of equal interest. The entries of stock and implements were highly satisfactory, both as regards numbers and quality. In regard to the implements selected for trial after the Show, I may mention that the Machinery Committee have, after minute and careful trials, recommended, and that the Directors have confirmed, an award of fifty guineas, on account of the Fisken steam ploughing tackle, an exhaustive report on which will appear in the forthcoming volume of the Transactions. It is well known that several of the office-bearers and others had a great deal of trouble, and that they discharged their duties to the entire satisfaction of all parties. I have therefore to move—''1. That the thanks of the Society be given to the Right Hon. the Earl of Strathmore, Vice-President, for his attention to the matters of the Aberdeen Show, and for having occupied the chair at the President's dinner in the absence of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. 2. That the thanks of the Society he given to the Right Hon. the Earl of Aberdeen, Vice-President, for acting as croupier on the same occasion. 3. That the thanks of the Society be given to the Commissioners of Supply for the counties of Aberdeen, Banff, and Forfar for the liberality with which the Auxiliary Fund was provided. 4. That the thanks of the Society be given to George Jamieson, Esq., Lord Provost, and the other civic authorities of Aberdeen, for the aid afforded by them, and particularly for the free use of the Links for the purposes of the Show. 5. That the thanks of the Society be given to Alexander Forbes Irvine, Esq., of Drum, Convener of the Local Committee elected by the counties of Aberdeen, Banff, Kincardine, and Forfar, for his unsparing exertions, and to the individual members of that committee for their judicious arrangements, contributing so effectually to the success of the meeting." The motion was unanimously agreed to.

Edinburgh Show, 1877.—Mr Gillon said—I have next to report that the arrangements for the Show to be held at Edinburgh are proceeding satisfactorily, and the Directors entertain the hope that the meeting will be the greatest that has yet been . held in Scotland, and that it will prove in every respect worthy of the city and the important districts more immediately interested. The period fixed for the Show is from Tuesday the 24th to Friday the 27th of July next, both days inclusive. On this occasion it is proposed that the yard should be opened on the first day to the public at eleven in place of one o'clock. The Directors have applied to the Town Council of Edinburgh for permission to hold the Show on the West Meadow. The application has been remitted by the Council to the Lord Provost's Committee, with powers. At the last Edinburgh Show, in 1869, the sum offered in premiums was L.1660. This year the list is the largest that has ever been given by the Society, amounting to L.2714, comprising L.935 for cattle, L.791 for horses, L.438 for sheep, L. 15 for best-woolled tups of the Cheviot blackfaced, and Leicester breed (the premium for the best-woolled tups is a new feature at our Shows, and was introduced on the suggestion of the late Marquis of Tweeddale), L.93 for swine, L.138 for poultry, and the usual medium gold medals to former prize animals. The charge for stall rent is under the consideration of the Board, and will be fixed when the rates of the contract for the erection of the show are known. In regard to the Implement Department, I may state that money premiums and medals are restricted to new inventions or improvements on implements of agriculture, horticulture, and forestry. That collections of articles, not agricultural, will be received for exhibition, but the Secretary is empowered to refuse entries from dealers in articles not deemed worthy of exhibition. The regulations for stock bear that filename of the breeder, if known, must be given; and if the breeder is not known, a declaration to that effect, signed by the exhibitor, must be sent along with the schedule, and no pedigree will be entered in the catalogue when the breeder is unknown. Mr Dundas of Arniston has been chosen Convener of Local Committee. The competition for the premium of £50 offered for the best thoroughbred stallion to serve in the three Lothians has been fixed to be held at Edinburgh on Wednesday the 14th of March. Entries for this exhibition must be made with the Secretary, and will close on the 10th of March.

Dumfries Show, 1878.—Mr Gillon said—I have finally to report that during the autumn of last year the Directors received requisitions, influentially and numerously signed by the proprietors, tenants, and others connected with Dumfriesshire, the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, and Wigtownshire, to hold the Show for 1878 at Dumfries. The Board approving of the same, the preparatory steps of arranging the classes of stock, for which premiums will be afterwards be offered, and of submitting them to a meeting of members held at Dumfries on the 20th of December last, have been carried out. From the cordial way in which the gentlemen connected with the district have taken the matter up, I have no doubt that everything will be done to ensure the same success which attended the last meeting held at Dumfries. I have only further to submit the classes of stock as adjusted by the Board, and to move that the meeting-approve of the Show being held at Dumfries in 1878, and that the Directors be empowered to make the usual arrangements.

The motion was agreed to.

District Competitions.—Mr Campbell Swinton of Kimmerghame said—I have to submit to the Meeting the report on the district competitions, which shows that the Society's money premiums or medals have been in operation in 281 districts during the past year—viz., stock, 32; special grants, 6 ; minor premiums and medals, 55 ; ploughing competitions, 188. The arrangements made for the current year embrace the usual premiums to 36 districts for stock, 5 special grants, minor premiums and medals to 53 districts, besides the plough medal, which is given under certain conditions without previous application. As the details, both of the premiums awarded and of those offered, will appear in the forthcoming volume of the Society's Transactions, I need only occupy the time of the meeting by moving the approval of the report.

Mr Mylne, Niddrie Mains, called attention to the circumstance that the grant of L.50 to the Edinburgh Christmas Club had been withdrawn. The Committee were very grateful to the Society for the support they had got all along, without which they would perhaps have not been in the position they now were, and although they had now got a good place for the Show, they were not in such funds as that the grant should be withdrawn. Owing to their being unable to give good premiums, the best animals went past the Edinburgh Show to Birmingham, Sheffield, and Leeds. He hoped that the Directors would continue the grant.

Mr Campbell Swinton said that this matter had received the very anxious consideration of the Directors, and he would remind his friend Mr Mylne that when the special grant was first given, it was plainly stated that it was only to be a temporary grant. The Society had never pledged itself to continue it. A member of the Committee who was connected with the Club had stated that it was now so prosperous that it might very well do without their aid. If they continued the grant now it might become a permanent vote, which was never contemplated. The grant was given when the Club was instituted in order to encourage it; and it was now so fat and prosperous, like the cattle it exhibited, that it did not now need the Society's aid.

Mr Paterson of Birthwood said that the grant had been given to those who instituted the Club in order to assist in carrying it on. They had gone on for ten years. Two years ago the Club was insolvent, and although they had now entered on prosperity to a very small extent, if the Society withdrew the grant he was afraid they had seen the last of the Christmas Shows. He thought that the money was well spent in the encouragement of the Show; and he moved that the grant of L.50 be continued.

The Earl of Dalkeith said he thought that his friend Mr Campbell Swinton had brought forward no really strong argument why the L. 50 should be withdrawn. He had not shown that the Club was misusing the grant, or that they could do without it. He thought it was of very great importance that the Club should be kept going at present at any rate. They had had great difficulties to contend with, and very bad buildings in which to show the stock. They had got this year for the first time a very good building in which to hold the Show, but if the money was withdrawn he believed it would be a very serious affair for the Christmas Show. Not only was there a show of fat stock, but a large show of poultry at the same time, and he thought that the Highland Society was not in that position that they could not afford the grant. It would not embarrass the Society, and the money would be given in a manner which would forward the agricultural interests in this part of the country. He hoped that unless the Directors had any very strong reason to give for refusing the grant they would be willing to reconsider it.

The Secretary stated that the District Show Committee had recommended that the grant to the Club should be continued, but that it should not become permanent. The grant had been withdrawn because a new member of the Club opposed it, as the Club was now able to meet its own claims.

Mr Bethune of Blebo said he hoped that the Directors would reconsider their decision. The Club had now got a Showyard which was the best in Great Britain; but still they required the grant.

The Noble Chairman said that the balance of the arguments seemed to be in favour, of continuing the grant.

It was then agreed to restore the grant of L.50 for one year. The report was otherwise approved of.

Cottage Competitions.—In the absence of the Convener, Mr Mackenzie, of Port-more reported that the money premiums awarded in 1876 amounted to L.13, 10s. besides eighteen medium and eighteen minor silver medals in fifteen districts ; and that the premiums to be offered in 1877 amount to L.21, twenty medium silver, and twenty-eight minor silver medals in sixteen districts. Besides the premiums to cottagers, it is proposed to continue the offer of two gold medals—first, to the proprietors in Scotland who shall report the improvement of the greatest number of cottages during 1874, 1875, and 1876 ; and second, to the proprietor in Scotland who shall report the erection of the greatest number of approved cottages during the years 1873, 1874, 1875, and 1876.

"Transactions" for 1877.—Mr Irvine of Drum said—I have to report that the "Transactions" for 1877 (vol. 9 of the new series) is partly in type, and that as many of the prize essays and reports which will be announced to-day will be included as, with the proceedings, the premium list for 1877, and the list of members, will make the volume the usual size.

Chemical Department. — Mr Mackenzie of Portmore read the following report by the Chemical Committee:—On the occasion of the general meeting in June last, the report then brought forward narrated the steps taken by the Directors and Committee with the view of carrying out the resolution of the general meeting of January 1876. By that resolution it will be remembered the appointment of a chemist was to be provisional and for a limited period and was to embrace the entire service of the person employed. As the best means of carrying out the resolution the Directors issued advertisements, in answer to which certain applications were received. These were carefully gone over by the Committee, who reported that none of the applicants combined all the qualifications necessary for the post of chemist to the Society. The Committee's report was adopted by the Directors, and accordingly a motion was made at last general meeting that the Society should rescind the restriction imposed in regard to the services of the chemist being entirely devoted to the Society. This motion was, after some discussion, agreed to, the Chairman of the Chemical Committee undertaking on the part of the Directors that no chemist should be appointed till there was sufficient work for him to do. This resolution was by the Directors, at their meeting on the 1st of November, referred to the Chemical Committee, who at their first meeting thereafter remitted to the Chairman and the Secretary to look out for suitable ground for conducting experimental stations. The Committee held a second meeting on the 27th December, when it was reported as the result of the conference above referred to that a letter had been addressed to a certain number of noblemen and gentlemen in the Lothians asking if they would be disposed to afford the Society say ten acres of land and labour for conducting experiments, and that favourable replies had been received from several of them agreeing to do so, provided they approved of the conditions on which the land and labour are required. The Society having now got these offers of suitable land is in a position to proceed at once to establish the experimental stations. The first object being to discover whether such experimental stations can be worked so as to produce adequate results, it is of very great importance that whatever is undertaken should be done thoroughly and well. The present available funds are limited, but there is little doubt that larger resources would be forthcoming should it be satisfactorily shown from the working of these pioneer stations that real benefit to the agriculture of the country can be obtained from the establishment on a permanent footing of similar stations in various parts of Scotland. It should therefore be the object of the Society to concentrate its efforts, and to undertake in the first instance no more than can be worked with thorough efficiency with the funds at its command. It 'will also be to the advantage of the experiment that these pioneer stations should be very readily accessible from the head-quarters of the Society. Until the Directors can ascertain from practical experience the expense of forming and working these stations, they consider it prudent that they should limit themselves in the first instance to two stations —the one, say, in Mid-Lothian, and the other in East Lothian. Other stations could be selected and added should the funds prove sufficient, and should it appear proper to do so. As regards the size of the stations, they consider that they should be about 10 acres each, which would enable the experiments to be carried out on a sufficiently extensive scale to ensure fair average results, and they accordingly asked for plots of that size in the letters before referred to. Bearing in mind that these experimental stations are being formed for the benefit of agriculture generally, and with no expectation on the part of the Society that they will prove remunerative in themselves, it has been hoped that parties will be found willing to aid the Society in its endeavours, by making arrangements with it in a liberal spirit; and with such an idea in view the Directors think that the following stipulations may be found sufficient:—The Society should undertake to fence their whole plot in each case with a substantial fence, and to maintain it as a thoroughly sufficient fence so long as they retain the land ; to provide all artificial manures, seeds, &c.; to pay for all labour afforded by the granters of land at a sufficient rate to be agreed on ; and to offer them all produce which is over and above that which may be required for seed, analysis, or experiment, at market rates in cases where rent is required, and gratis when the land is given free. For its own security the Society should make the fence round each plot proof against ground game. The granters of land should undertake to supply labour and implements whenever called upon at a full fair rate to be agreed on ; to supply farm yard manure, also at a fixed rate; to allow their overseers to protect the plots under the Society's chemist; and to continue the occupation of the plots to the Society so long as they may be required for these experiments, and to relieve the Society of them at a year's notice, on condition of their being left in a state at least equal to that in which they were received. The granters of land also to supply house accommodation, or to allow the Society to put up temporary erections for storage, &c. As regards the appointment of a chemist to organise and superintend the stations, the Society being now in a position to commence operations, the Directors propose to proceed at once to select and appoint a suitable person, so that the coming season may not be lost.

Mr Milne Home of Wedderburn said he was sorry that the Committee had not afforded sufficient information in the report to enable the Society to form an opinion on the propriety of the stations. He agreed with the report in regard to the principles on which the stations should be conducted; but as to engaging a chemist, they were not told how he was to be paid under the arrangement by which only a portion of his time was to be given to the Society. They had had the experience of a chemist paid by salary and giving them only a portion of his time when they had Dr Anderson and Dr Dewar, and he asked whether during the last two years they rendered any service to the Society at all. Mr Lawes of Rothamstead, instead of employing a chemist to manage his experimental farm, which was the best of the kind in the country, employed an intelligent practical agriculturist, and when chemical analysis was required application was made to a chemist. At Cirencester the same plan was followed. As he understood, however, the proposal that the Society should have a practical agriculturist had been dropped. It was proposed instead that the stations to be established should be under the charge of a chemist; and he wanted to know how that chemist was to be paid and the other expenses of the stations met out of the £500 available for the undertaking. He wished that the Directors should give the Society a fuller and more distinct report.

Mr Charles Duncan, Rothesay, thought that as the whole scheme was an experiment, they should give the Directors justice, and an opportunity of carrying out their intentions for two or three years, after which they should see the result.

Mr Wilson, Edington Mains, said he should have no objection whatever to a tentative trial; but the question was, whether they should again appoint a chemist, with a fixed salary, as a permanent officer of the Society.

Mr Mackenzie said that the appointment of a chemist was to be merely for a limited period, and as an experiment.

Mr Milne Home—What salary?

Mr Mackenzie said the Committee were not bound to give the £300, if they could get the work done for less. Mr Milne Home was himself a member of the Committee, and under his supervision they might rest assured they would not give more than was necessary.

Mr Wilson said there was a want of information in the report. If the scheme was merely tentative, and the Directors would in a year or two bring the matter again before the Society, he had not the smallest objection to offer to the proposal.

Mr Mackenzie said that there was not the slightest wish on the part of the Committee to withhold information; but they could not tell what the chemist's salary would be till they made arrangements with the man. The Society might rest assured they would do nothing rash. Their whole object was to produce a result worthy of the Society and of the funds entrusted to them.

Mr Milne Home said that there had been no arrangements made for securing land for any station whatever, and therefore he did not think the time had yet come for appointing a chemist.

Mr Bethune of Blebo said he was not afraid that the Committee would do anything rash; he was afraid that they would do nothing at all.

The Noble Chairman said he thought that after the discussion which had taken place it might be safely left to the Committee and the Directors to carry out the proposal. The report was then adopted.

Agricultural Education.—Professor Wilson reported that Mr Robert Lyall, Catchery, Watten, Caithness, and Mr William Reekie, Walton, Auchtertool, Fife, had passed for a bursary of L.20 each, and that Mr D. G. Braidwood, Parduvine, Lasswade, Mid-Lothian, for one of L.20.

The Education Board. —Mr Wilson, Edington Mains, said it was known to every one present that there was prevailing all over Scotland a strong and growing conviction that the Scotch Board of Education should be put on a permanent footing, and its powers enlarged; and he wished to ask whether it might not be well for the Directors of the Highland Society to consider the expediency of concurring with other public bodies who were moving in this matter, in which they were all interested.

The Noble Chairman said there was no doubt that the question was of the greatest possible interest; but he felt some difficulty as to the course which should be followed, as he thought it was scarcely within the scope of the Society's functions to memorialise Government in reference to the subject.

Mr Milne Home said that the Society had a charter enabling them to promote the cause of education, and they spent a great deal of money on instruction given in elementary schools. They voted L.250 a year to young men coming from elementary schools to the Scottish Universities, and so far, he thought, that might give them power to entertain the question. He did not say the Directors should take up the matter now before them in the way other bodies were doing, but it might be well that they should be allowed to consider it as one of great public importance, and take what steps they thought necessary.

The Duke of Buccleuch said there was no doubt that the Society was very much interested in the education that was afforded in the elementary schools. He quite agreed that the Education Board of Scotland should be made independent and permanent. A great deal of very useful information might be imparted to children in the parochial schools; but he was afraid these schools were fast drifting into merely elementary education, or what was commonly called the three R's. So long as the greatest number of children got the smattering of education which accorded with a certain code, the higher branches were thrown on one side. He saw no reason whatever why in the parochial schools, as formerly, the higher branches of education should not be taught. The first elements of botany, he might say, would be a very essential thing for children to learn in an agricultural country, so that they might know the difference between the useful plant and. the noxious weed. He believed that some of the unfortunate accidents to children had occurred from ignorance of that subject. He thought there was a good deal in what had been said. Whether they should as a Society move in the matter was a question to be considered ; but it was a subject which a Society consisting of between 4000 and 5000 members should not entirely ignore. Whatever they found it their duty to do he hoped they would not hesitate to express the opinion of so large and influential a body of educated men upon a subject not only so interesting but of such vital importance to the welfare of the country.

Professor Balfour said that the Society was at present doing good work in the way of education by encouraging young men to come forward and get prizes. Perhaps they might do more good that way than by petitioning.

The Noble Chairman said that from what had been stated he thought it might be within the power of the Directors to approach the Government on the subject. He would suggest, therefore, that the meeting approve of the question being referred to the Directors with powers to take such steps as they might deem expedient.

Mr Charles Duncan, Rothesay, expressed his approval of what had been suggested by the Chairman.

The proposal was then agreed to.

Veterinary Department.—Captain Tod of Howden said—It will be in the recollection of those who attended the general meeting in June last, that on that occasion I reported that a deputation from the Society had waited, on the 24th of May, on the Lord. President, at the Privy Council Office, for the purpose of supporting a petition for a charter to the Society empowering it to grant veterinary diplomas. I regret that I have now to intimate that the prayer of the Society's petition has been refused. The letter from the Privy Council Office is in the following terms:—

"Privy Council Office, 12th December 1876.

"My Lord,—I am directed by the Lord President of the Council to inform you that the Lords of the Council have given their careful consideration to the petition of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, praying for the grant of supplemental charter ; and I am instructed to state that their Lordships have felt it their duty to advise her Majesty not to comply with the prayer of the petitioners.—I have the honour to be, my Lord, your Lordship's obedient servant,

(Signed) "C. L. Peel. "The Earl of Strathmore, Vice-President,"
Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland."

This communication was before the Directors on Wednesday last, when it was remitted for the consideration of the Society's Veterinary Committee. It is not for me to say what further steps the Committee may recommend, or the Directors adopt; but I may venture to state that I consider the Society is in a manner bound, in the meantime, to continue the examinations.

The Duke of Buccleuch asked if there had been any reasons given for that decision?

Captain Tod—No.

The Duke of Buccleuch said it was perhaps nothing more than jealousy on the part of the Veterinary College in London that anything better than itself should be tolerated.

Agricultural Reports.—Mr Irvine of Dram (in the absence of Mr Walker of Bowland, Convener) reported the premiums awarded for agricultural reports, and those offered for competition in 1877, which were approved of.

Forestry Department.—Professor Balfour reported the awards in the Forestry Department, as well as those offered for competition in 1877, which were approved of.

The proceedings concluded with a vote of thanks to the President, which was proposed by Mr Hunter of Thurston.


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