International Year-Book of Agricultural Statistics, 1922

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  • International Year-Book of Agricultural Statistics, 1922.Review by: R. H. R.Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Vol. 87, No. 2 (Mar., 1924), pp. 296-297Published by: Wiley for the Royal Statistical SocietyStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2341232 .Accessed: 25/06/2014 02:07

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  • 296 Reviews of Stattistixal and Economic Books. [Mar.

    intelligence for age, weight, and examination marks constant. Most of us hold that it does measure 8omething, but few of us would sav whether such a coefficient, if found numerically equal to a partial coefficient of the same order deduced from a strictly planar system, implies a higher, lower or equal stringency of association. That is the sort of problem which needs discussion, because some of the prestige of the statistical method depends upon the assumption that we can by a calculus reach without the experimental method, in instances where the experiinental method is inapplicable, what that method strives to obtain. M. G.

    4.-International Year-book of Agricultural Statistics, 1922. xl + vii + 364 pp. Rome: International Statistical Institute, 1923. Price 8s.

    The General Assembly of the International Agricultural Institute has decided that the Year-book which has hitherto appeared at longer intervals, shall, in future, be published annually. The wisdom of this decision may be questioned. The primary function of the Institute, as originally conceived, was not to compile historical records, convenient as these are for the use of students of, and writers about, statistics. For practical purposes-i.e. for the help of agriculturists and of persons commercially interested in agri- cultural products-the prompt circulatlon of trustworthy statistical information about crops and crop prospects far transcends in value any other service that the Institute can render. It is true that it attempts to do this at present, but ineffectively. The service is ineffective because the information, valuable as it may be, does nlot reach one in a thousand of those to whom it might be of service or interest, and, as a rule, reaches even them so tardily as to have lost its value. If the General Assembly, instead of publishing an annual Year-book which, in the nature of the case, can include statistics having historical interest only, were to publish such a volume quin- quennially, and devote the money thus saved to the better and wider distribution of prompt information, it would render greater service to the world at large.

    But, the Year-book being ordered, nothing but praise can be given to Dr. Dore, Chief of the Statistical Bureau of the Institute, and his assistants, for the manner in which they have performed the task entrusted to them. The tables are clearly arranged, the ex- planatory notes are terse and adequate, and the general scheme of the volume is admirable. It is tempting to dip into the pages and to quote many of the interesting facts which the figures reveal. Gener- ally the statistics given relate to the year 1922, or in some cases 1921, as the latest year, with comparative figures for 1919 and 1920 and for the pre-war period 1909-13. It has to be admitted that in the absence of any statistics of agricultural production for Russia or China, calculations of world supplies must be defective. China is probably the most important producer of two products-tea and silk. As regards Russia, certain returns of flax production have

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  • 1924.] Reviews of Statistical and Economic Books. 297

    been obtained which lead to the conclusion that " according to the figures available " (a cautious reservation) " flax culture shows gradu- ally a tendency to recover the place which it formerly held." That place was that of the producer of 70 per cent. of the world's flax supply. But limits of space forbid further quotation, and it can only be noted that the volume contains statistics grouped in eight sections, viz.: Area and population; area and production; live stock; imports and exports of agricultural products ; prices of agricultural products; ocean rates of freight for cereals and cotton fertilizers aind chemical products useful to agriculture ; rates of exchange. R. H. R.

    5.--Foundations of Agricultural Economics. By J. A. Venn, M.A. 389 pp. Cambridge University Press, 1923. Price i6s. net.

    The Gilbey Lecturer in the History and Economics of Agriculture has rendered a service not only to those who are specially interested in agricultural affairs, but to the public generally, by the preparation of this book. The bulk of its contents was given as lectures and, indeed, it has somewhat the appearance of a series of monographs on the various subjects dealt with. These cover a wide field. The intention expressed in the preface to refrain from an excursion into agricultural historv-on the ground that Lord Ernle has left nothing to say-is iiot strictly kept, but it is difficult to divide rigidlv agri- cultural from economic history in relation to the land. This is especially noticeable in the chapter on " The Occupation of Land in the Past," in which manorial farming is shortly described with the assistance of interesting, and not easily accessible, plans of typical manors and new photographs of well-known survivals of common- field cultivation. Under the heading of " Modern Land Tenure " a concise summary is given of the measures adopted in recent years by many European States to democratize their land systems. After describing the agrarian effects of the Russian cataclysm, Mr. Venn observes:

    " Land tenure in the rest of Europe, and especially in the Central and Near Easterin States, has within the last decade been placed in the melting-pot, first by legislative action on the part of responsible, but harassed, Governments and subsequently by either veiled or open revolutionary methods. Untrammelled access to the soil for the most humble citizen and the establishment for him of State small holdings has everywhere, from Denmark to Roumania, been the objective of the land reformers."

    The popular injunctions to look abroad for examples of the best methods of dealing with agricultural problems commonly ignore this aspect of the relations of the State to the land.

    The chapters on " Tithe, Taxation and Marketing " contain much historical information clearly stated, and a curious account of Stur- bridge fair will be new to most readers. The author has made good use of documents, both old and modern, and he recalls the now almost forgotten reports of the Royal Commission on Market Rights

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    Article Contentsp. 296p. 297

    Issue Table of ContentsJournal of the Royal Statistical Society, Vol. 87, No. 2 (Mar., 1924), pp. 167-349The Interrelation and Distribution of Prices and Their Incidence Upon Price Stabilization [pp. 167-219]Foreign Trade and Shipbuilding [pp. 220-255]Wholesale Prices of Commodities in 1923 [pp. 256-277]MiscellaneaThe Wider Application of the Gompertz Law of Mortality [pp. 278-290]

    Reviews of Statistical and Economic BooksReview: untitled [pp. 291-293]Review: untitled [pp. 293-294]Review: untitled [pp. 294-296]Review: untitled [pp. 296-297]Review: untitled [pp. 297-299]Review: untitled [pp. 299-300]Review: untitled [pp. 301-302]Review: untitled [pp. 302-303]Review: untitled [pp. 303-307]Review: untitled [pp. 307-308]Review: untitled [pp. 308]

    Other New Publications [pp. 309-313]Current Notes [pp. 314-325]Statistical and Economic Articles in Recent Periodicals [pp. 326-333]List of Additions to the Library [pp. 334-339]Periodical Returns [pp. 340-349]

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