[Agricultural Restoration of Belgium and North-Eastern France] Printed scheme (by Sir Rider Haggard?) of an appeal to British farmers and landowners for crops and breeding stock, 'to be offered and sent to French agriculturalists ravaged by invasion'

Edward T. Brown, Secretary, Agricultural Restoration of Belgium and North-Eastern France [Sir Henry Rider Haggard; the Great War]
Publication details: 
Agricultural Restoration of Belgium and North-Eastern France, 39, Queen Anne's Chambers, Westminster, London, SW. Main document undated (late 1914 or early 1915), with appended letters dated 25 November and 1 December 1914.
SKU: 14974

4pp., 4to. On four leaves attached at one corner by a brass stud. In very good condition, on lightly-aged paper. The proposal of the 'scheme' covers the first two pages, with the first page headed with the associations name and address, with a list of the eleven members of the 'Central Committee', headed by the Marquis of Lincolnshire, and including 'Sir RIDER HAGGARD' (who must surely have had a hand in the document's composition), and the secretary E. T. Brown. The third page carries a transcription of a letter to 'Monsieur Edward Brown' from the Belgian Minister of Agriculture Toris Helleputte, dated from Le Havre, 25 November 1914. The fourth page carries a similar letter to Brown from the French Minister of Agriculture Ferdinand David, dated from Bordeaux, 1 December 1914. The first page begins 'British and Irish landowners and farmers have no realisation of the havoc wrought in the war-ravaged areas of Belgium and North-eastern France. Happily in the United Kingdom for many centuries we have been free from the desolation now apparent within a few miles of the English coast line. Where but a few weeks ago were communities of thrifty, hard working and prosperous people, highly cultivated land, abundance of live stock, comfortable homesteads and general well being, are now scenes of desolation, unparalleled in modern times. That desolation is part of the price which Belgium has paid, not for her own liberties alone, but for ours. | What can we do to recompense her? In this scheme we touch only one aspect, but a vitally important aspect, of the matter. We refer to the destruction of crops and stock. All are gone and no means of restoration exists unless help is afforded from without.' In his response Helleputte states that the Belgian farmers mainly need 'seed for Beetroots, forage crops, roots of various kinds, especially turnips, and vegetables, and seed potatoes'. David's reply gives a detailed description of the state of affairs in France, concluding: 'The stock will have almost entirely disappeared in the districts occupied by an enemy who has destroyed all that which he could not utilise or take away. | We had in the War-ravaged departments more than 610,000 horses, 1,500,000 head of cattle, 1,600,000 sheep and lambs, and nearly 700,000 pigs. | The races of the north have a certain affinity with your breeds of live stock, and on that side again an introduction from Great Britain would be of great interest.' The organisation would appear to have been short-lived (no references traced after 1915) and this is a scarce item, with no copy in the Imperial War Museum or on COPAC or OCLC WorldCat.